Finish the sentence

Present students with an unfinished sentence that they need to complete themselves. This can be a statement, a content question or a sentence in which students can tell something about themselves. A fast and easy way to activate your students and collect input yourself!

Activity goal
Activate prior knowledge |
Brainstorm |
Get to know each other |
Recap / Summarize |
In class
Hybrid |
Offline |
< 10 minutes |
< 30 minutes
Group size
Small |
Medium |

Zoom, Teams, Mentimeter, Canvas

Stap 1

Ask the students to consider a concrete question or statement. For example, this can be about their expectations of the course, such as ‘What do you expect from (...)?’ or ‘What do you want to learn or discover about (...)?’. It can also be a getting to know you question, for instance related to the theme of the course, such as ‘What is your favourite (...)’. Finally, you can also choose a content statement to conclude your lesson. Formulate the question in the most open way possible so that students will have to come up with their own clarification, argument or explanation.

Stap 2

Give the students time to consider their answer. 

Stap 3

During this time, write or show the sentence starter that is derived from your question. For example: ‘During this course I would like to learn how...’ or ‘The (...) appeals to me because...’. 

Stap 4

Then ask your students to complete this sentence. You can do this in various ways, such as giving the students turns or collecting input via post-its, an online tool or in a chat during an online meeting.

Stap 5

If necessary, ask several students to clarify their input to the others. 

  • Consider the tools and materials mentioned here as suggestions. In many cases it’s possible to use alternative tools. Please turn to the Learning & Innovation team of your faculty (EUR or EMC) first to see which online and offline tools are available and how to apply them.

    • You can collect students’ input via chat in a live session (during the Zoom or MS Teams’ session), on post-its or in an online tool such as Mentimeter (select ‘Word Cloud’ or ‘Open-Ended’).
    • Prior to a session you can also collect input in a discussion forum in Canvas.