Teaching Tip of the Week: Change it up!

Students mingling!


When you group your students for an activity, don’t always just pair them in the traditional, “You two, you two, you three” way. You can use the pairing or grouping of the students as a unique opportunity to get more practice, or as a fun way to change up the atmosphere of the classroom. Here are a few ideas:

1. Give half of the class a word. Make sure each student has a different word. Give the other half of the class the stress patterns written out on a card for each of the words. NOTE: the word is not written with the stress pattern. Then the students mingle and try to match the stress pattern with the word to find their partners. Students with words just say them. Students with stress patterns can say it (Ba BAH Ba) or use their hands (hands together, arms wide, hands together) to describe the stress pattern.

2. Give each student an emotion. You can do this with all positive emotions or all negative emotions and the students have to find their synonym or with half negative emotions and half positive and the students have to find their antonym. Students can’t say the words, they have to act out the emotion clearly by talking and acting the way that a person would feel when overcome by that emotion.

3. The above idea but with new vocabulary and definitions or contextual sentences.

4. Have students put an object from their wallet or their purse in a hat. They must put the object in secretly so no one knows whose is whose. Then students choose an object at random and try to guess whose it is. Students are matched up depending on whose object they chose.

5. Have students choose a card from a deck. Students with matching numbers or suits are in a group together. You can do the same thing by allowing the students to roll dice.

6. Have all students stand up and walk around the room with music playing. When you stop the music students have to grab someone near them. This only works when there is a larger space and students can spread out. You can also play musical chairs. Students are paired with the person whose chair they steal.


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