Values continuum

This strategy will help students to:

  • identify and clarify attitudes about issues

  • consider others' thoughts and attitudes.


  1. Prepare a set of signs with opposing responses (e.g. safe/unsafe; useful/not useful; agree/disagree) and place these at opposite ends of the room. It may help to draw a chalk line or stick a piece of masking tape on the floor between the two signs to indicate the continuum.

  2. Explain that there are many places along the continuum that may represent each student's opinion about a given statement.

  3. Model this by giving a statement such as ‘Everyone should wear a hat when they go outside' then placing yourself along the continuum. Tell students why you might have placed yourself at that position.

  4. Select a statement and read to the group. 

  5. Ask students to move to the point on the continuum that best represents their opinion. 

  6. Students then discuss their reasons for placing themselves in that point on the continuum with others standing nearby.

  7. As a class, discuss why there are variations in students' opinions. 

  8. Provide students with the option to pass or reconsider their placement after the discussion and move to another position along the continuum.

  9. Examples of questions to ask students during this strategy are:

  • Why would someone place themselves in that position on the continuum? 

  • What experiences would have brought them to that conclusion? 

  • Would they feel differently if they had more information about this? 

  • Was it easy to choose the position on the continuum? Why or why not?

Example: Exploring risk

Using a line continuum, with ‘worth taking the risk' at one end and ‘not worth taking the risk' at the other, ask students to rank different situations. Give them the opportunity to discuss their continuum and compare it with their peers. Scenarios can include:

  • Getting a friend to give you a piercing at their house

  • Cheating in a test

  • Cheating in the end of year exams

  • Having sexual intercourse with your partner without using contraception

  • Organising a party while your parents are on holiday

  • Speaking at an assembly

  • Trying out for a part in a play or sports team

  • Telling someone you like them

  • Posting a revealing photo of yourself on the internet

  • Posting a revealing photo of a friend on the internet

  • Sending a revealing photo of yourself to your partner

  • Driving without a licence

  • Driving your friends home from a party intoxicated.


Name tag 

Construct a values continuum by sticking a length of masking tape along the ground. Ask students to write their name on a post-it note or small card. Pose a question or statement for students to consider then place their name on the masking tape continuum that best represents their opinion. Ask students from various parts of the continuum to justify their placement. After the discussion give students the opportunity to reposition their names if they have changed their opinion as a result of the discussion.