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Follow the Leader


Students respond to a question, form a line, then one end follows the leader to fold the line in a way that each student has a new thinking partner.


Prompts for students to answer such as:

  • Think It Up question and Thinking Stem
  • Assessment item – “The correct answer is ______ because ______.”
  • Text excerpt – “A summary of this text is ______.”
  • Visual stimuli – “If this visual could talk, it would tell me (list 3 things).
  • Word – “This word means ______, and it is important because ______.


  1. Present students with a Think It Up question, an assessment problem, a word, a text excerpt, etc.
  2. Students respond to the prompt by writing their responses.
  3. Ask students to form a single line around the room.
  4. Move to one end of the line and say, “Follow the leader!” Walk toward the other end of the line, having students follow you until the line is “folded” so that 2 lines are formed and each student has a face-to-face partner.
  5. Students share their responses, cheer, coach, and clarify by taking turns and completing these verbal stems:
  • Cheer: You did a good job at ______.
  • Coach: You might think about ______.
  • Clarify: I’m a little confused about ______.

Classroom Management

  • Rehearse the Follow the Leader physical movement before implementing the strategy to prepare students for using the classroom space appropriately.


  • Promote access to content by allowing students to partner with a supportive peer or adult.
  • Provide response support by allowing students to dictate responses to a scribe or use speech-to-text technology assistance.

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:
    • How might this prompt be applied in an assessment or testing situation?
    • Summarize the importance of knowing this concept.
  • Encourage students to use lead4ward’s Thinking Stems (English/Spanish) to frame their responses, if needed.