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4 Corners

Props/Prep: Yes

Time: 20-30 min
Audience: Any (teams)
Physical: Yes

4 Corners Activity: This activity is great for utilization with a group of students in one classroom to explore concepts, ideas, or content. It can be used on its own or in conjunction with additional group work. It is useful with trying to work collaboratively on content or concepts. This activity gets students up and out of their seats.

Time Requirements: 20-30 minutes

Materials needed: You will need a large piece of paper (flip chart paper) for every group in the room.  You will also need to provide a marker or 2 for every corner of the room.


  • Choose different content topics or concepts for each corner
  • Write the content or concept on the top of the flip chart paper for each corner and mount these papers in the 4 corners of the room
  • Divide participants into 4 groups (using whatever sorting gimmick you like)
    Once students are in their corners, they can either pair up or work as a larger group to discuss their question or topic.  The ideas should be recorded on the flip chart paper mounted on the wall. 
  • After the groups have written down their ideas, the teacher will give the signal for all the groups to move one corner to the left.  This means all students will now be in a new corner of the room, looking at new content on the wall.  Give the group a couple of minutes to read the information on the wall and add to it if they like.  Then move the students two more times, until everyone is back to their original corner. 
  • Now have the participants quickly present their content back to the entire group.
  • Option: You can post different topics in the 4 corners, and have students self identify which corner they wish to go to, based on what topic they are most interested in.  The debriefing process may then include discussion of the motivation for the students to go to a specific corner, in addition to content discussion. 

Function in the class: This can be used at the beginning, middle or end of a class time depending on what the instructor is trying to do related to content or concepts. It is also a great way to explore case study situations, by having a different case study in each corner, having the students process the case study and come up with assessments or solutions.