How to Implement the Circle Rotation Teaching Strategy in Your Classroom

Standing in concentric circles, learners face each other and take turns asking questions about the assigned vocabulary.

Learning Outcome

  • Review word meanings


  1. Each learner will need a list of the assigned vocabulary and a pen or pencil.
  2. Separate the class into two groups and allow them to form an inner and outer circle, with the learners facing each other.
  3. For the first 15 seconds, each learner in the inner circle asks a prepared vocabulary question (see sample questions below) of the learner she is facing. If the outer-circle learner answers correctly, the inner-circle learner initials his/her word list.
  4. For the next 15 seconds, the outer-circle learner asks the inner-circle learner a question, and initials his/her sheet if she answers correctly.
  5. Then learners rotate to the right and repeat the process with the new learners they face.
  6. The group that has the most signatures at the end of the game wins.


  1. Demonstrate different types of vocabulary questions.
  2. If there is an odd number of learners, make one learner the “supervisor” who walks around the circle to keep other learners on task.
  3. Some learners will benefit from extra time to prepare questions ahead of time.
  4. Learners can utilize the same questions multiple times.
  5. Some learners may also benefit from an extended question-and-answer time (e.g., 30 seconds or a minute).
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