Bull's-Eye Answers

This idea is based on this strategy from the fabulous Kristina Smekens and is used as a way to teach students how to narrow answer choices.  See more here.​

This bull's-eye can also be used as a multiple choice Lecture Buster or exit ticket.



-giant plastic bull's-eye (see directions here)

-a multiple choice question

The Gist

The outer-most ring is for answer choices that are FAR from correct.  They may be factually incorrect, untrue, or otherwise obviously not correct.

The next ring is for answer choices that are true, factually correct, but don't answer the question being asked.

Then the next ring is for answers that seem correct, both factually and in the context of the question.  I call this the "shopping cart."  You know how when you're shopping, you see a shirt you THINK you like, but you're not sure?  What do you do?  Well, I carry it around with me through the rest of the store.  Put it in my shopping cart!  Then I decide if I really want it or not as I see the rest of the merchandise and take time to weigh this option.  So this ring is the answer choice shopping cart.  We gather answers we THINK may be right.

Then we compare those options in our shopping cart and isolate the one (or more in select all situations) that are the BEST FIT for the question.



Students use the rings of the bull's-eye to narrow answer choices, helping you understand their thinking and quickly gauge their understanding.


Ask/project/distribute a multiple choice question about the content you've just covered.  Have students partner up and give each partnership a set of index cards labeled A, B, C, and D.  You can also number each set, so one partnership had set 1, another set 2, etc.  This makes it easier to keep track of how each partnership is doing and quickly clean up afterwards.   Although not necessary, I also used a different color highlighter for as many sets as possible to make it easier to find their cards, and the highlighter doesn't show through the back to conceal their answer choices.

Partners discuss, then place their answer choice cards, face down, wherever they feel they belong on the target.  They don't have to have a card in each ring and can have multiple cards in the same ring.

When every group is ready, have a "big reveal" a la "MOVE THAT BUS!" to see what each group chose.  This gives you a great opportunity to discuss distractors, WHY choices were right or wrong, and respond to instructional needs revealed by their card placement.



As an exit ticket, students can use post-it notes, each labeled A, B, C, and D and their name ON THE BACK so that it sticks to the bull's-eye with a blank side facing up.  Pose a question just as above, and students respond individually.  You can quickly gather and sort the post-its from the center ring to see who's got it and who doesn't, then look at the outer rings to see if anyone who was wrong at least had the correct answer close to the center. 


The bull's-eye can also be used to sort text evidence and other concepts as well.  Students have trouble selecting evidence from the text that isn't just a fact from the text but instead directly supports the concept in question.  The bull's-eye is great for that!  You can even put individual statements from the text on the index cards (print, cut, paste!) and physically sort them.

This target can also be used to sort student answers to assignment questions.  Each student writes their answer on an index card.  You collect them.  Group students.  Shuffle the cards up and then distribute some to each group.  Then the groups consider each answer and place them on the bull's-eye accordingly.  The whole class gets a visual, interactive way to consider the content and nail down the "best" answers.  By not writing names on the cards, students get to evaluate other students' answers, realize where their own falls, etc while respecting their privacy.

Check out the Worksheet Buster use of the bull's-eye, Shuffleboard!  This fun activity uses the plastic bull's-eye, balls from Hungry Hippos, and any worksheet or assignment (not just multiple choice)!