Frank Noschese has shared a fabulous way of getting children into groups at the beginning of a term. I’ve made a couple of tiny tweaks for my UK students.
I waited at the door and, as kids entered class, gave each one a card with a word on it. Initially, students could sit wherever they liked. On the back of the card, they had to write their name, one thing they considered themselves to be experts at, and one thing they still struggle with. (This prevented card swapping when it was time to organize into groups. Plus I get some tidbits about my students.)
… I didn’t give them the group themes, but simply told them that they were to find 3 other similar people …. They also had to introduce themselves as they looked at each other’s cards.
The groups I’ll be trying are from those below but as Frank suggests you can customize them all you want.
- PLUTO, MICKEY, GOOFY, DONALD (Disney characters)
- VENUS, URANUS, EARTH, SATURN (planets)
- APOLLO, ATHENA, DIANA, HEPHAESTUS (Roman Gods)
- MARS, GAGA, TEMPAH, PERRY (surnames of UK top 10 Artists)
- DICKENS, MORPURGO, ROWLING, HOROWITZ (British Authors)
- PHEASANT, ROBIN, BUDGERIGAR, LARK (Birds)
- NIGHTINGALE, DARWIN, NELSON, STEPHENSON (British Victorians of Note)
- KING, GANDHI, MANDELA, DAVISON (Rights Leaders)
- BERNERS-LEE, DYSON, BELL, BAIRD (British Inventors)
- PARIS, ROME, DUBLIN, ULAN BATOR (capitals)
- MERCURY, IRON, HELIUM, ZINC (elements)