Diamond 9 Ranking đź’Ž: a great method for revision & organisation of subject strengths

Thomas Courtley, ex teacher and LessonUp education specialist

Thomas Courtley

Education Specialist

House of cards, diamond 9 ranking

In Diamond 9 Ranking students are given nine statements, texts, concepts or photos, which they then have to rank in the shape of a diamond. Together with their peers, they are encouraged to select which one is the most important, interesting or valuable in their opinion.

Learners are asked to place (drag & drop) the most important one at the top, and then fill in all the steps in between, with the least important or interesting item placed right at the bottom. 


For which kind of tasks/subjects could you use it?

The content you choose depends, of course, on the subject you teach and the type of task you wish to set: levels of understanding of a topic? Most important causes for an event? Most likely results of an experiment? Critical thinking?

Why a diamond? This method gives students—individually and in groups—insight into their own points of view. The visual representation in a diamond shape helps them explain their choices to each other. This technique provides a lot of guidance in establishing what learners find most valuable or important, and in thinking critically with the help of their peers.


How does it engage learners? 

It allows students to drag and drop different elements within the diamond—such as: concepts, propositions or images— offering many possibilities for differentiation. On the internet, for example, you can find many examples of this method tailored for students of all ages and education levels: from primary education right up to university. This technique is suitable for both activating prior knowledge and processing acquired knowledge. It is also a perfect metacognitive tool to use for revision or organisation of subject strengths! This working method can be used for any subject when you want them to discuss a complex theme with many points of view.


How does it work?

Steps 1 and 2

1. Let the students fill in the ranking for themselves. You can do this In LessonUp by sharing it with your class, or asking individual learners to join the lesson with their code.

2. Briefly discuss any problems they encountered. It is not the moment yet for students to explain their choices. However, this discussion can help them sharpen their motivation for when they later make a joint ranking during the group part.


Group activity part

Steps 3 and 4

3. Divide learners in groups (max 3 students). Encourage them to explain their individual ranking to each other, and then ask them to create a joint ranking. The students can do this on a single 'group device', or all on their own device.

4. Discuss the working method, but also the process that got them to make a group decision—was it difficult to arrive at a joint ranking? How did they (eventually) reach an agreement?

Interested in trying out 10 proven learning techniques to improve learners' metacognitive skills?