How to Implement the 3-2-1 Teaching Strategy in Your Classroom


A 3-2-1 prompt helps learners structure their responses to a text, film, or learning activity by asking them to illustrate three takeaways, two questions, and one thing they liked. It provides a way for instructors to check for comprehension and to gauge learners’ interest. Distributing 3-2-1 responses is also an effective way to prompt a class debate or to review material from the previous lesson.


  1. Ask Learners to Answer the 3-2-1 Prompt: After learners engage with content or a learning experience, ask them to write the following information in their journals or on separate paper:
    • Three things that they have gleaned from this learning activity or this content.
    • Two questions that they still have.
    • One aspect of class or the content that they enjoyed.
  2. Assess Learners’ Responses: Use learners’ responses to guide your teaching decisions. 3-2-1 responses can help you identify areas of the curriculum that you may need to review again or concepts or activities that hold special interest for learners.


  1. Content-Specific 3-2-1: Instructors can modify the elements of the 3-2-1 method to focus on particular content questions.
  2. Identifying Main Ideas 3-2-1: You could also utilize the 3-2-1 structure to help learners identify main ideas from supporting information.
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