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Think and Throw


Students analyze, summarize, defend, share, and evaluate a response to a question, then share ideas through a snowball-like toss.


  • Notebook paper, question, text, or one-minute paper prompt


  1. Students think about and anonymously answer an assessment question with a justified response, respond to a Think It Up question, complete a one-minute paper, create a visual, or respond to text.
  2. At the teacher’s signal, students crumple their responses into snowballs and throw them.
  3. Students pick up and toss three more snowballs.
  4. Students pick up a fourth snowball, form groups of 3-4, and share responses.
  5. Student groups evaluate responses and select the one that is the best.
  6. Allow 3-4 “winning” responses to be read aloud.
  7. Observe students’ thinking and clarify/verify as appropriate.

Classroom Management

  • Role-play appropriate and inappropriate crushing and throwing so students clearly understand behavior expectations.
  • Any student who cannot find a final snowball may partner with a friend and share.
  • 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 question/prompt.
  • Promote response support by providing response/thinking stems or offering an idea/word bank.
  • Provide response support by allowing students to dictate their response to a scribe and/or encouraging speech-to-text or word prediction support.

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:
    • Compare your response to one that was read aloud and either justify why your response is stronger or revise your response to be more complete.
  • Encourage students to use lead4ward’s Thinking Stems (English/Spanish) to frame their responses, if needed.