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Students think deeply, talk to peers, and write connections between words, visuals, and assessment items.


  • Tic-Tac-Tally handout (3 words, 3 visuals, and 3 assessment items) – 1 per group
  • Tic-Tac-Tally game board (projected)
  • Tic-Tac-Tally template (English/Spanish)
  • Notebook or chart paper
  • Scissors


  1. Organize students into groups of 3.
  2. Provide each group with a handout.
  3. Students cut apart the 9 cards and distribute them among the group members.
  4. Project the Tic-Tac-Tally game board.
  5. One student from each group draws the game board on notebook or chart paper for the group.
  6. Students take turns playing a card on the game board.
  7. When 3 connections are made (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally), students shout “Tic-Tac-Tally” and write the connection among the 3 ideas on the game board.
  8. Observe students’ thinking and clarify/verify their connections.

Classroom Management

  • Model the strategy through a “fishbowl” activity where a group of students role-play the strategy while other students observe.


  • Promote access by providing pre-cut cards and partnering with 2 supportive peers to preview the activity.
  • Promote access by allowing the use of notes/journals.
  • Provide response support by allowing students to dictate responses to a scribe.

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:
    • Challenge your team to get a “blackout” Tic-Tac-Tally game board by making connections across the board.
    • Remove one card from the game board and create two new cards to complete the new connections.
  • Encourage students to use lead4ward’s Thinking Stems (English/Spanish) to frame their responses, if needed.