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Stand, Stick, or Stray


Students take a stand to share and defend their opinions but are willing to consider other points of view.


  • Question or issue
  • Signs around the room designated for each point of view


  1. Present students with a question or issue that can be answered from various points of view:
    • pro – con – neutral
    • always true – never true – sometimes true
    • extremely important – somewhat important – not important
  2. Students take a stand by moving to an area of the room reflecting their opinion.
  3. Student groups huddle to develop 3 reasons to justify/defend their point of view.
  4. Randomly select one person from each group to share their 3 reasons.
  5. After all groups have shared, allow a few minutes of classroom discussion.
  6. Students may then stick to their original point of view or stray to a new point of view.
  7. Students partner with someone near them to justify why they stayed or strayed.
  8. Observe students’ thinking and clarify/verify as appropriate.

Classroom Management

  • Model how to use discussion stems to respectfully communicate varying points of view such as, “I respect the idea you have about _____, but I would like to offer another point of view. Have you ever thought about _____?”
  • Ask students to take a stand, one group at a time, to avoid movement chaos.


  • Promote access by previewing the question/issue with a supportive peer/adult or providing a summary of the content.
  • Promote access by providing visual cues associated with the content or allowing the use of teacher/student notes.
  • Provide access support by offering response/thinking stems to justify where they are standing.

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 the arguments from each group.
    • Predict how a controversial issue can be discussed in a way that promotes respect.
  • Encourage students to use lead4ward’s Thinking Stems (English/Spanish) to frame their responses, if needed.