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Positive Pings


Students are assigned a specific question or task based upon the number of positive “pings” they score.


  • Cups
  • Ping pong balls
  • 3 questions or tasks


  1. Organize students into groups of 3 or 4.
  2. Provide each group with a large plastic cup and 6 ping pong balls.
  3. Taking turns, students bounce ping pong balls off the table and into the cup as many times as they can in 1 minute. (Elect a scorekeeper to count the group’s pings.)
  4. Based on scores, assign each group a specific question or task such as:
    Score Questions Tasks Text Responses
    0-8 Question #1: Justify the correct answer and explain how you got there. Task #1: Describe, illustrate, and provide an example of __________. Task #1: Summarize what the text said in your own words.
    9-15 Question #2: Analyze and interpret the visual (or genre) and explain why it is important. Task #2: Sequence the events of __________ into logical order. Task #2: Find three important facts/details from the text and justify why they are the most important.
    16+ Questions #3: Find an answer choice that represents a mistake, summarize the mistake, and explain how to avoid it. Task #3: Compare and contrast __________ and __________. Task #3: Make an inference from the text. What does it mean if you “read between the lines?”
  5. Observe students’ thinking and clarify/verify as appropriate.

Classroom Management

  • Model or role-play how to appropriately bounce ping pong balls into the container, how to quickly retrieve the balls to continue tossing, and how to keep score.
  • Extension Idea: Students hold up 1, 2, or 3 fingers representing the task they had, form new groups with each number represented, and cross-train/teach each other on their varying questions/tasks.


  • Promote access by allowing students to preview the questions or allowing the use of student/teacher notes.
  • Promote access by offering a brief audio recording of content or providing visual representations of content.
  • Promote response support by offering a word/idea bank or providing response/thinking stems.

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:
    • Summarize what you learned in the activity.
    • Draw a conclusion about why this content is important.
  • Encourage students to use lead4ward’s Thinking Stems (English/Spanish) to frame their responses, if needed.