#3: Four Corners

(Kagan, 1994)

Purpose: This cooperative technique provides an opportunity for learners to deepen their understanding by exploring issues and expressing opinions. The technique can energize a lesson by providing movement and interaction with peers.


  1. Post the dimensions related to the topic in each of the four corners of the room (e.g., strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree or number four different pictures and then post the numbers).
  2. Each student selects a particular dimension in response to a question posed by the teacher, and moves to the appropriate corner.
  3. Once in their selected corner students pair up to discuss the reason(s) for their choice.
  4. Students listen actively to their partner’s response and are prepared to share what they heard their partner say.
  5. The teacher randomly chooses partners to share responses from each corner.


Tip: This is an activity that can be adapted to a large scale classroom with a few structural changes. Rather than posting a question or number in four corners, post a diagram of the room on the screen (on a PowerPoint slide), clearly marking where students should move to identify with a particular dimension or image. The rest of the lesson could proceed as with a smaller classroom. You can also put a stopwatch on the projector so students have access to the same timing that you are using, e.g., http://www.online-stopwatch.com/countdown-timer/.