Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning


K20 Center, Lindsay Hawkins, Adriana Knight | Published: September 16th, 2020 by K20 Center


Cover Image


This reflective strategy requires students to reflect and choose important pieces of information and question anything they don’t completely understand.



Students respond to a prompt by writing important points, things they agree with, and questions they still have in three shapes. These shapes can either be drawn by the student (as in the procedure below) or they can be printed onto a worksheet ahead of time to be used in class. Use Triangle-Square-Circle as a formative assessment of students’ understanding of a lesson or before reviewing for an assessment so the teacher knows which areas still need further exploration.


  1. Decide what to have students respond to. The lesson, a text (video or reading), a presentation, or a discussion are common choices.

  2. Have students draw a triangle and write three important points from the prompt inside of it, next to it, or specifically on the three points.

  3. Have students then draw a square and write down anything that "squares" with their thinking, anything they agree with.

  4. Have students draw a circle and write down anything that is still "circling" in their mind, what they still have questions about.

Video resource:The Teacher Toolkit. (n.d.). Triangle-square-circle. Retrieved from