Home : Literacy : Comprehension Strategies : Reviewing Strategies
This is a discussion strategy that requires all students to participate as active speakers and listeners. Its The structure helps shy students share their ideas and ensures that frequent speakers practice being quiet. This strategy works well with material that requires students to elicit differing opinions or multiple interpretations. 
Here are the steps to follow:
  1. Assign a story, selection, or passage to be read.
  2. As students read, they are to locate five statements that they find interesting, agree/disagree on, contradicts what they know, etc.  Students place a small sticky note next to each statement.
  3. After reading, students are given five note cards.  On the front side, they record the statement from the text.  On the reverse side, they write comments about the statement.
      1. EXAMPLE: 
      2. Front:  Wolves are sometimes illegally shot by ranchers who fear that their livestock will be attacked.
      3. Back:  Ranchers ought to have a right to protect their animals from dangerous predators like wolves.
  4. Split the class into small groups of 4-5 students and hand each group an instruction sheet.
  5. All students in all groups take turns sharing one of their statements with the group.  The first student reads their statement but is not allowed to read his/her comment until the rest of the group members give their reactions.  Continue Round 1 until everyone has shared and responded to a statement.
  6. Repeat the sharing again for the rest of the statements.
  7. Have the students do a quick write reflecting on what they learned from the discussion.


Here is an easy review and a twist to the getting to know you activity popular to many teachers. 

  1. Create the "Find Someone Who Knows" graphic organizer (see attached template) using important vocabulary words AND/OR the unit objectives. 
  2. As you think about what questions to ask, try to incorporate Blooms or Costa's Higher Level of Questioning...
  3. Give out Find Someone Who Knows graphic organizer to your students. 
  4. Participants will need to mingle around the room and find one person who can answer the questions on the sheet. They can use only one person to explain something within one block. They can not answer the question even if they know the answer, but find someone who can tell them the answer. Then they are to write the person’s name in the block and his/her answer.
  5. Call time when they tend to get off track (after about 5 minutes). Tell them it’s okay if they aren’t finished.
  6. Have students share what they have on their charts and HIGHLIGHT what they still need to review for the test.

Four Corner Fun:

Here is a game that involves your students moving around.  Create 4 posters A, B, C, D and place them in each corner of the room.  Prepare in advance at least 25 review questions with answers A, B, C, or D.  Each student will receive a notecard with either Player or Fibber written on it (3/4 the cards should say Player, 1/4 Fibber).     Have the students look at the cards privately and not share with others what card they have.

Run through a couple of practice questions first.  Read the questions and answers.  Have the students go to the corner that they think is the correct answer.   

When all students have taken their corners, reveal the correct answer to the question. Ask students who chose the correct answer to explain why they selected that answer. Then you're ready to pose the next question…    



Round Robin Post It Review:

Create four questions or problems for students to respond to. Following are a few ideas of how this lesson might be adapted across the curriculum:

  • If you teach math, you might create four word problems, four equations to solve, or four formulas to use.
  • If you teach history or science or another of the content areas, you might present four questions that address important concepts in the unit you just finished teaching. Students might/might not be allowed to use their books to answer the questions.
  • If you teach English, you might present four questions related to a piece of literature just read. Or you might present four paragraphs to edit for usage, spelling, and punctuation.

Type or write the questions/problems on a sheet of paper. The questions should be clearly numbered 1 to 4. Print out enough questions sheets so you have one for every four students.

Section off four areas on the chalk/white board and label them 1-4.

Arrange students into groups of four.  Name the groups Group A-D. Provide each group with a question sheet. Have one student from each group cut the question sheet into its four questions and distribute one question slip to each student in the group.

Provide a set length of time for students to answer their questions. (Time will vary depending on the skill being reviewed.)  When time is up, have the students pass their question slips clockwise, to the next person in the group. The solving continues until all students have answered all four questions.

Note: All the steps done up to this point are done by individual students without collaboration.

Next, students share their answers with the other students in their groups, one question at a time. Did everybody in the group agree on the answer to question 1? If not, the group should come to an agreement about the correct answer to the question. When they have agreed on an answer to question 1, they write on a sticky note the following information:

  • Question 1
  • The group name
  • The agreed-upon answer to the question

Then, each group attaches its sticky note to the board in the section numbered 1.

Students continue the activity in the same way, coming to an agreement about the answers to the other questions and making official their final answer to each question by placing a sticky note on the board next to the appropriate question number.

When all groups have posted sticky-note answers to all four questions, check the answers and assign a group grade. Discuss any errors to be sure students understand the correct responses.


 If you like these or are looking for a few more... check out this website:


Clues and Questions

Here is a fun activity to review vocabulary AND have students practice writing higher level questions:


  1. Type or print the vocabulary words on note cards.
  2. Distribute several note cards to each student.
  3. The student's task is to write 2-3 questions that their words could answer. Teach the students to write higher level thinking questions - they should start with the harder questions first and then move to the easier questions.  They write the questions beneath the word on the same side of the card as the word.
  4. Check the students’ questions for accuracy.
  5. When the cards are completed, divide the class into small groups with each group having a portion of the cards. 
  6. Students switch off asking each other questions.
  7. Groups rotate the cards so they have a chance to answer all the questions.


Questions (Clues)

            What is a formal agreement between two or more nations called?

            What type of formal document between the US and foreign countries must be approved by 2/3 vote in the senate?

Word - molecule

Questions (Clues)

           ___________ is to "compound" as "atom" is to "element"

           What is the smallest unit of a compound that retains all the characterstics of the compound?

           Two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom make one ____________ of water.



Quiz, Quiz, Trade

 This game I found from a teacher's blog online....

What you need:

  • A set of questions and answers printed or written out on cards.
  • One card for each student.
  • About five minutes.

You can create the cards, or let students do this, or you can do it yourself using index cards or a table in Word.


  • Teacher announces: Quiz Quiz Trade
  • Students:  Find a partner.
  • Student 1 asks Student 2 the question on the card.
  • Student 2 either answers it or says I don’t know. (It is important to the speed of the game that students admit when they don’t know)
  • Student 1 either congratulates Student 2 or goes over the answer.
  • Student 2 then repeats the procedure with Student 1.
  • Student 1 and Student 2 trade cards and find a new partner.
  • I usually let students play Quiz Quiz Trade for about 5 minutes.

Thoughts from the teacher: 

"They know I will stop the game immediately at the first sign of inappropriate behavior, and since they love it that is enough to keep this activity running smoothly.

When I introduce the game, I have two students come stand at the front of the room, and walk them through the process I have written out above.  I review “deal-breakers” which for me include: running, refusing to take a question from a classmate, faces made at classmates, anything derogatory or rude, anything that is not class/topic related.  I usually monitor by wandering through the milling crowd with a card. Some students like to ask me the questions, so I always carry a card."




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