90 degree thinking

This strategy will help students to:

  • graphically organise and record ideas and information that may be seemingly unrelated

  • apply these ideas and information to their own lives.


  1. Ask students to divide a page with a diagonal line from top left to bottom right.

  2. In the top right hand triangle, students record ideas or information from fact sheets, websites or group discussions about a given topic.

  3. At the conclusion of the information collection, students reflect on each fact or idea.

  4. Students then write in the left hand triangle what the implication of these facts or ideas may have on their own lives. For example:

Fact: Only 23% of Year 10 Australians teenagers have had sexual intercourse. So what? It doesn't make sense to have sexual intercourse just because I think ‘everyone else is having it'. It's OK for me to be in the majority of teenagers my age who have not had sex.

Example: Unplanned pregnancies

Using the 90 degree thinking strategy, students record facts and ideas about unplanned pregnancies. They can include information such as:

  • teenage pregnancy statistics

  • causes; including social/cultural beliefs, lack of contraception, lack of education or impaired decision making (e.g. drug or alcohol use)

  • What might happen next: adoption, termination or parenting.

Students also record what implications these facts and ideas would have on their lives, including what an unplanned pregnancy would mean to them and how it would affect them.