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Venn Diagram of Students:
What Do We Three
Have in Common?


Arts & Humanities
--Language Arts
Educational Technology
Social Studies



Brief Description

Use a 3-circle Venn diagram to help students get to know one another and in many other ways across the curriculum.


Students will

  • get to know classmates and make connections.
  • use a diagram (and technology tools) to organize information.
  • explore a variety of uses for a 3-circle Venn diagram.


Venn diagram, 3-circle Venn, organize, compare and contrast, icebreaker

Materials Needed

Lesson Plan

• This activity is a good one for the start of a school year.
• It can be used any time of the year to bring students together, increase tolerance, or make connections.
• It is also an excellent way to introduce the 3-circle Venn diagram and to provide a simple experience using the format before asking students to make the leap and use the diagram in other ways that require higher-level thinking skills (see Extend the Lesson below).

Arrange students into groups of three. Provide each group with a copy of a 3-circle Venn diagram.

Note: This 3-circle Venn diagram template can be printed for use, or students can download this editable template to a CD and use it to personalize their own diagrams.
Provide each student with a different colored marker and have each student in the group label a different circle with his/her name. See how each area in the diagram below carries one of the students names:

Instruct students to talk about their similarities and differences; their likes and dislikes; the things they have in common and ways in which they differ. Have them illustrate their similarities and differences on the diagram. For example:

  • If Lisa is the only one in the group who likes country music, then she might write likes country music" in her circle.
  • If Pablo and Lisa discover that they have both traveled to Hawaii, then they might write traveled to Hawaii" in the area where their two circles overlap/interconnect.
  • If Linda and Lisa discover that they both like Chinese food more than any other kind of international cuisine, then they might write prefer Chinese food" in the area of the diagram where their two circles overlap.
  • If all three of the students discover during their conversation that they speak Spanish, the they might write speaks Spanish" in the place where all three circles interconnect.
If students are having trouble getting a conversation going, you might stop the activity and take a few minutes as a class to brainstorm questions or topics of conversation.
When the activity is complete, give each group time to use their diagram as a tool for reporting some of the things they learned about one another; some of the ways in which they are alike and different.

Extend the Lesson
Now that students have experience working with a 3-circle Venn diagram you might have them use this tool to make comparisons across the curriculum. For example, students might

  • compare characters in a piece of literature,
  • compare decades in American history,
  • compare the geography or governments of different countries, or
  • use the 3-circle Venn diagram to make a wide variety of other comparisons.

Additional Resource
Students might use this Venn Diagram, 3 Circles online tool to create final, professional-looking versions of their diagrams.


Assess students based on the quality of their conversations and diagrams.

Lesson Plan Source

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

NL-ENG.K-12.3 Evaluation Strategies
NL-ENG.K-12.4 Communication Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.7 Evaluating Data
NL-ENG.K-12.8 Developing Research Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.9 Multicultural Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

NT.K-12.1 Basic Operations and Concepts
NT.K-12.4 Technology Communications Tools
NT.K-12.6 Technology Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Tools

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