After reading my classmate, Erin’s blog http://erinvallee.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/group-work/ , I had the idea of making a list of creative ways to randomly put students in groups of 2 or more. In the High School Core French curriculum, there are some suggestions, as well, I will add some that I used during my Internship. Please add any ideas that you have used or heard of that could be successful.
Slogans: Each student receives a word(s) of a slogan. Students look for the other words to complete the slogan to form the group.
Puzzles: Take any picture or map and cut it into the number of pieces equal to the number of students per group. Students find their group members by fitting the pieces together.
Deck of Cards: Distribute playing cards and have students form groups of four based on the suits (eg. all eights).
- Alternative: cut cards in half for groups of two
Name tags: Place names on tables where each group is to be situated. Students will sit where their name tag is now located.
Birthdates: Groups can be formed by birth months or seasons (this is good oral practice for French or other additional languages).
Colors: Students will pick colored slips of paper from a hat, and will group together with the other students who have chosen the same color.
Clothing: Students can be grouped according to clothing that they are wearing (eg. black socks).
Popsicle Sticks: Have all your student’s names written on popsicle sticks and choose the number of sticks you will want in each group.
Clock Buddies: Have each student place a classmate’s name on each hour of a clock. In turn, the students that they write down, must write their name down for the same hour. When they need to work in pairs, call out a number 1-12, and they will work with the partner they chose for that number. (For more instructions and a blank clock: http://www.readingquest.org/strat/clock_buddies.html ).