Four Corners - Checking for Understanding

This activity is designed to allow students to demonstrate their understanding of a message by moving around the classroom in response to a series of questions or statements. Example: A teacher might label corners “Ocean” “Rain forest” “Desert” and “Tundra” and then make statements or questions about specific animals and where they live. Students demonstrate their understanding by moving to the correct corner of the room after interpreting each prompt.

Instructions

  1. The teacher assigns a value to each of the four corners of the room. This could be either a word, a phrase, a sentence, or a picture.

  2. All students sit or stand in the middle of the room.

  3. The teacher reads or displays a sentence or question prompt that corresponds with one or more of the values in the corners.

  4. Students interpret the prompt (by either reading or listening to it) and walk to the appropriate corner based on their comprehension of the prompt.

  5. The teacher may choose to randomly call on a few students to ask a question (yes/no, either/or, follow-up, etc.) to confirm that the students understood the prompt and did not just guess or follow the crowd.

  6. Repeat steps 3-5 for each prompt/question until allotted time for the activity is over.

Adaptation for Online/Distance Learning

  1. This is a synchronous activity.

  2. The teacher assigns a value to each of the "four corners". This could be either a word, a phrase, a sentence, or a picture.

  3. The teacher assigns a signal for each "corner". This could be asking students to hold up 4 different common household items or their fingers showing numbers or asking students to point to the 4 corners of the screen. If students do not have webcams or have chosen to keep their webcams off, they can respond using digital gestures (thumbs up or down, clapping, smiley face, etc.) on platforms like Zoom or Google Meets. Another alternative would be to request that students "choose a corner" by sending a number 1-4 to the teacher via chat in the live meeting software. 

  4. The teacher reads or displays a sentence or question prompt that corresponds with one or more of the values in the corners. Students interpret the prompt (by either reading or listening to it) and choose the appropriate "corner" based on their comprehension of the prompt.

  5. The teacher may choose to randomly call on a few students to ask a question (yes/no, either/or, follow-up, etc.) to confirm that the students understood the prompt and did not just guess or follow the crowd.

  6. Repeat steps 3-5 for each prompt/question until allotted time for the activity is over.

Helpful Tips

  1. Instead of taping words/phrases/pictures to different corners, a teacher can use a PowerPoint slide to assign meaning to each corner. This way, the teacher can assign different values for different corners within the same activity—allowing students to move more and also requiring students to pay attention to the text on each slide.

Materials

  1. Sentence or question prompts

  2. Pictures

  3. Labels for corners (if face to face)