Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

First Turn / Last Turn

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


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First Turn / Last Turn

This strategy uses small-group analysis of a text to reinforce productive discussion skills by having students take turns sharing and receiving feedback.

First Turn / Last Turn


Working in small groups, students collaborate to identify key ideas, themes, and concepts from a reading. This structure specifically encourages students to take turns offering their insights on the text without interrupting others and serves as a guide to help students learn to converse productively in a group.


  1. Form groups of four to eight.

  2. Silently and simultaneously, ask members to read a section of text and highlight three or four items that have particular meaning for them.

  3. Name a person to start in each group.

  4. Have students share one of their highlighted items during their turn, but do not comment on it. They simply name it.

  5. Invite the other group members in round-robin style to comment about that item with no cross-talk.

  6. Have the student who shared the highlighted text take a turn speaking last, sharing his or her reasons for highlighting the item and thoughts that may have arisen as a result of the discussion.

  7. Repeat the pattern around the table, with each person sharing one of their highlighted items so that each member has the opportunity to comment on every person’s statement.