Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Agreement Circles

K20 Center | Published: September 16th, 2020 by K20 Center


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Agreement Circles

Through discussion and physical movement, students practice persuasive communication and critically examine their own opinions.

Agreement Circles


Students determine whether they agree or disagree with a statement and indicate their opinions by standing on an agreement circle in the appropriate area. Then, students debate their stances in small groups with members of both opinions. After discussing the statement, students return to the agreement circle to indicate whether their opinion changed.


  1. Have students form a large circle.

  2. Read the statement, then give students 5–10 seconds of thinking time to decide whether they agree or disagree with the statement.

  3. Ask students to move to the center of the agreement circle if they agree with the statement. Have students stay on the outside if they disagree.

  4. Arrange students in small groups, maintaining the proportion of agree to disagree (as much as possible) that the last step indicated. For example, if 12 students agree with the statement and 18 disagree, groups should have five people each, where two agreed and three disagreed.

  5. Give students a few minutes to defend their opinions.

  6. Call time, read the question again, and have students re-position themselves on the agreement circle, according to their current opinion.

  7. Note any changes and repeat the exercise using a new statement. This can be repeated as many times as needed.

Keeley, P. (2008). Science formative assessment: 75 practical strategies for linking assessment, instruction, and learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, SAGE.