Give 1 Get 1 Strategy - Engaging Learners in Conversations

I am always searching for and exploring new and different ways to engage my students in discussion and conversations. One of my student-centered favorites is something we call "Give One - Get One". The goal of this strategy is to get students moving while at the same time encouraging students to engage in real person to person conversations. 

Today I wanted to share this strategy and some of the different templates I've used for face to face, hybrid, and remote learning.

I am a science teacher so I am always looking to have a bit of fun while making connections to nature. When I first introduce this activity,  I tell my students that we are all going to play the role of Prairie dogs. You know that they have quite the ability to make eye contact, right? I then wonder around the room acting like a Prairie dog and making eye contact as I explain the activity. If you know me you'll get a laugh thinking about me in this pose.


Once my students get the idea behind the "Give 1 - Get 1" activity, I will often just project and eye from the natural world on the screen and we are ready to go. Sometimes we even have a bit of a brain break and guess who's eye is on the screen before starting. 

I think the "Give 1 - Get 1" strategy is something that can be done at almost anytime in any classroom. I love that it can be done with minimal or no prep. Here are my basic directions and a few templates to get everyone started.

To get started, I'll project a version of these directions or have them on a piece of paper the first few times we engage in this activity. I'll talk through this with the students the first time we do this. One of the keys in emphasizing that these are 1 on 1 conversations and not group round robins. 
1. Briefly write down 1 or 2 new things you’ve learned that you believe are worth sharing. (This can be on a notecard, a piece of scratch paper, or using one of the templates below.) 
2. When instructed, please stand up and find someone to talk to. No talking until you are with the person you will talk to Find the person not by calling out their name, but instead make eye contact to connect and then walk over. You are about to engage in a one on one conversations. No clumping or big groups.
3. GIVE ONE idea from your list and GET ONE idea for their list. Just 1 idea per partner!
Note: If your list and your partner’s list are identical, you must brainstorm together an idea that can be added to both of your lists. Please exchange no more than one idea with any given partner. 
4. After learning something new, break eye contact. Look around for a new eye contact, move to a new partner and repeat the process. If you can't learn anything new during a conversation, you can also break eye contact and find a new connection. 
5. When you've made the requested number of connections, return to your seat and discuss your learning with someone nearby until the room has settled and we are ready to get back to work. 
These directions can obviously be modified to work for any class. 

Here are a few sample templates that might be helpful to start. Feel free to copy/modify these if you think you can use them with students or staff.
Give 1 - Get 1 is ideal for face to face classrooms, but it can be adapted to hybrid and remote classrooms. I will ask students at home to use one of these tools to engage in the give 1 get 1 experience. It is a bit more limited with the eye contact ; )
  1. Flipgrid - Have students share and respond in Flipgrid.
  2. Padlet - There are a variety of wears to share. I use the voice recording all the time.
  3. Shared Google Doc or Slide Deck
  4. Zoom / Google Meet Chat or Breakout Rooms
What are your thoughts about conversations in your classroom? If you create your own template, please consider sharing in the comments below. #HappyLearning

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