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Odd One Out


Students compare/contrast four visuals, assessment questions, words, characters, historical figures, etc., to determine which one is the Odd One Out and justify their thinking.


  • Odd One Out handout, copied or projected (English/Spanish)
  • Notebook paper (if handout is projected)


  1. Organize students into groups of 4.
  2. Project the Odd One Out template reflecting 4 visuals, assessment questions, words, characters, historical figures, etc.
  3. Students number off 1-2-3-4 and summarize their assigned word/visual:
    • Visuals or assessment items – students repeat 4-5 times: If this visual/item could talk, it would tell us __________.
    • Words – students repeat 4-5 times: This word is important because __________.
  4. Students individually compare all 4 words/visuals and then select the Odd One Out by choosing the 1 that:
    • has an attribute the other 3 do not have
    • is missing an attribute the other 3 do have
    • is in a completely different category than the other 3
  5. Each student shares and justifies their Odd One Out choice. The objective is NOT for every student to select the same response; instead, the objective is to get students to deeply analyze 4 common visuals/words so they can transfer what they know to a variety of visual situations.
  6. Observe students’ thinking and clarify/verify as appropriate.

Classroom Management

  • Rehearse the strategy with common visuals (candy, soft drinks, etc.) before using academic content.
  • Allow more than 1 response if students’ justifications are reasonable.


  • Promote access by allowing students to preview words/visuals or providing written descriptions for each word/visual.
  • Promote access by allowing students to work with a supportive peer and/or allowing the use of notes.

Think It Up!

  • Have students think more deeply about the concept by responding to a Think It Up prompt as an exit ticket or journal entry:
    • Cut 4 words/visuals apart and sequence them in order of importance or chronology.
    • Select 1 of the words/visuals and predict how this information might be assessed.
  • Encourage students to use lead4ward’s Thinking Stems (English/Spanish) to frame their responses, if needed.