Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning


Sherry Franklin, Mary Braggs | Published: August 23rd, 2022 by K20 Center


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This collaborative strategy can be used to help a whole class or large groups come to a consensus of agreed upon ideas. 8-Up makes it possible for all students' ideas to be considered.



Students generate ideas or answers to a question or prompt. Then students work in pairs and groups to discuss and choose the best ideas or answers for the group. The groups start small and grow as the ideas are whittled down.


  1. Choose 8 students or create 8 groups of students.

  2. Pose a pre-determined question or prompt to students.

  3. Give students 3 minutes to come up with 3 responses to the question or prompt. Use the timer.

  4. Once the 3 minutes are up, have the students pair up with another student or group.

  5. Each student or group shares their 3 responses with the new group.

  6. Then together, they take those 6 responses and whittle them down to 2.

  7. Next, each group finds another group of students.

  8. Each group shares their 2 whittled-down responses.

  9. Then the group whittles the responses down from 4 to 2.

  10. Repeat the process until you have two large groups in the room.

  11. Once you have two large groups left, work together as a class to whittle down the list of responses to a single response.

Thomas, D. D., & Mustafa, Y. (2020). Design for cognitive bias. Jeffrey Zeldman / A Book Apart. K20 Center. (2021, September 21). K20 Center 3-minute timer. YouTube. Retrieved August 11, 2022, from