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Pick Up the Slip Up


Students analyze three statements associated with a concept and make inferences about which two are true and which one is false.


  • Pick Up the Slip Up statements (3 statements; 2 are true and 1 is a “slip up” that represents a common mistake)
  • Notebook paper, sticky notes, or note cards


  1. Organize students into thinking partners.
  2. Students create A-B-C cards and place them on their desks.
  3. Present 3 statements or examples.
  4. Instruct students to:
    • “Think!” (Students think about which statement is the “slip up” or mistake.)
    • “Hover!” (Students hover their hand over their ABC cards showing they are ready.)
    • “1-2-3, Pick Up the Slip Up!” (Students grab the letter of the slip up and hold it high.)
  5. Students justify slip up responses with their thinking partner. (I think this might be the slip up because _____.)
  6. Observe students’ thinking and clarify/verify as appropriate.
  7. Students summarize in writing what they learned and note how to avoid mistakes in the future.

Classroom Management

  • Model the strategy with a simple, fun topic (candy or soft drinks) before using it with academic content.
  • Role-play the hover movement and the way to pick up the card that represents the “slip up” or false answer.
  • Remind students there will be no harm or humiliation for incorrect answers because correcting mistakes is a sign of intelligence!


  • Promote access by allowing students to preview the 3 statements and allowing a peer to re-read the 3 statements aloud.
  • Promote access by partnering with a supportive peer and/or providing the “slip up” answer so students only justify why it is false.

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:
    • Infer how to rewrite one of the false statements into a true statement.
    • Create/Develop your own Pick Up the Slip Up statements and play the game with a thinking partner.
  • Encourage students to use lead4ward’s Thinking Stems (English/Spanish) to frame their responses, if needed.