This summarizing technique is a quick and useful tool to assess students’ background knowledge or their level of understanding. Asking students to determine the most important concepts, facts and points is a valuable skill. Intermediate students can use their responses as a note taking device and the teacher can quickly check for understanding.
Pose a question or topic related to the lesson that has many possible responses. Then have students individually brainstorm five possible answers or things they know about the topic.
Ask students to work in pairs to come up to share their lists and then decide on the three best answers or ideas from their two lists.
Instruct the pair to join with another pair to choose the one response they think is best or most significant.
Use 5-3-1 at any point in the lesson to structure meaningful conversation.