Tip: No Peeking!
How do I do it?
Paperclip two manila folders together to make a visual barrier. Give the same materials to each person in the pair. This can be anything you are studying (e.g. a pile of key vocabulary cards; picture cards; a blank graphic organizer; math manipulatives; maps with place markers; a text with a highlighter etc.) Next, one person is the “sender” - they create a pattern or work with their materials and “send” the message to the other person who is the “receiver” who tries to create the same pattern or work on their side of the visual barrier (no peeking!) through verbal instructions/clues from their partner. At a predetermined time or when the receiver thinks they have the same arrangement and information, they can compare their work. It’s important for the pair to debrief when they are done (a lot of higher-order thinking happens here).
Variations & Extensions
You can also give students a list of key vocabulary (on the board or differentiated on a post-it for individual students) that you expect them to use when communicating with their partner. You can create rules where students are not allowed to use certain vocabulary or even the words that are on their materials.
Common Core ELA Speaking and Listening Standards 1&2
Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversation and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Everyday ELL is now Every Language Learner.