3-2-1 Reflection

Item description: 

This reflect-to-learn activity encourages students to synthesize large amounts of information and sharpen their focus on new ideas and understandings. It may be used to help the teacher discern the quality and depth of learning and any remaining misunderstandings. Most reflect-to-learn models share three common components:

  • experience an event or occurrence
  • analyze the event and any new understandings that were gained
  • internalize any new perspectives and discover ways to apply them to future situations of the same general type


  • Download the attached 3-2-1 Reflection template.
  • Decide on the topical focus of the reflection and finish each of the three questions by typing directly into the blanks on the template.
  • Make enough copies for each of your students.
  1. Explain the directions and expectations for this reflection:
    • Students will determine the three big/main ideas from a lesson, assigned reading, etc.
    • Students will identify the two immediate actions they plan to take as a result of what they have learned or discovered.
    • Students will describe one major insight that resulted from this learning experience.
  2. Collect the reflections, read, and synthesize key points.
  3. Share the 3-2-1 Reflection findings with the class at an appropriate time.


Completion of the activity may be graded. There are six fields to fill in. Start with 100 points and subtract 15 points for each question not answered.

Classroom Management

Depending on time, you may choose to have students get into small groups and share what they wrote—or as a class, call on several students at random to read their answers out loud.

Interdisciplinary Connections

This activity may be used across grade levels and subjects.


For younger learners, you may choose to have them complete:

  • 3 interesting things
  • 2 confusing things
  • 1 thing I want to learn more about


An alternative approach may be something like this:

  • 3 things we learned from this project
  • 2 things we think can be improved
  • 1 problem we faced doing this project


  • 3 ideas
  • 2 actions
  • 1 insight

Feel free to make up your own.

Preparation time: 10 / Delivery time: 30

PDF icon 3-2-1 Reflection Template1.74 MB