Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Beach Ball Talk and Toss

Shelby Blackwood | Published: July 24th, 2023 by K20 Center


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Beach Ball Talk and Toss

This collaborative strategy is a fun, active way for students to engage in substantive conversations. With meaningful prompts or questions, students can reflect on their learning, review content or vocabulary, and much more with this highly adaptable learning strategy.

Beach Ball Talk and Toss


Students toss a beach ball back and forth while answering prompts or questions that correspond with the color on the beach ball.


  1. Determine what prompts or questions you will use.

  2. Write the prompts or questions on the beach ball color sections or create a slide to display with the prompt or question and corresponding color.

  3. Form groups of at least 4 students. Groups of 5-10 are best for this activity.

  4. Provide a beach ball for each small group.

  5. Ask students to stand in a circle in each group.

  6. Students will take turns tossing the beach ball to others. As the ball is caught, whichever color the student’s right thumb lands on will determine the prompt or questions that they answer.

  7. Optional: You could add more prompts or questions than colors on the ball (if it is a large ball) and instruct students to answer the question closest to their right thumb.

  8. Once the student has answered the prompt or question, they will toss the ball to another student.

  9. Repeat steps 6 and 8 until each person has had at least one chance to answer a prompt.

  10. Optional: You could give students the option to toss the ball in the air in the attempt to catch another color if they do not want to answer that particular prompt or question.

  11. Ask groups to share out any takeaways from the activity. What is shared would be determined by what the purpose of the activity was (e.g., reflection, review, icebreaker, etc.).

Vogel, J. (2018, December 10). Make Your Own Toss And Talk Ball. That After School Life.