• Carrousel Brainstorming - Post large pieces of chart paper around the room. Put a topic or question at the top of each sheet. Divide students into groups and give each group's "recorder" a different colored marker. Give each group 30 seconds to 2 minutes to brainstorm a list of items or answers related to the topic or question. When the time ends, have each group move to a new piece of chart paper and continue the process.

  • Dialogues, Hear/Say - Student A is given part of a conversation, Student B has the other half. Student A speaks, Student B listens and then responds based on what Student A said

  • Focus Questions - Give each small group a list of questions and ask them to choose at least 3 to discuss.

  • Information Gap - Pairs of students are given a task to complete, but each student in the pair only has half of the information and must use language to communicate the missing information to their partners. (See Richard Ladd's excellent ideas here: and here:

  • Interviews - Student A is given a character, role, or perspective. Student B interviews Student A about the assigned topic and then reports to the group in some way (by creating an oral or written product).

  • <Jigsaw - Divide students into groups (1, 2, 3, 4). Give each group a different set of paragraphs to read, a skill or process to learn, etc. When time is called, regroup students so that each new group is comprised of at least one member of the original groups (each group should have a 1, a 2, a 3, and a 4 in it) so that the representative of the original group can teach the information, skill, or process to the new mixed group.

  • Key Ideas - Ask students to identify 3-7 sentences containing key ideas regarding the topic of study.

  • Key Words - Ask students to extract 3-7 key words that summarize the topic of study and devise a graphic organizer that will help others remember them.

  • Prioritization - Give each student a red dot, a green or blue dot, and a yellow dot or Post-it flag. Post a list of ideas, topics, or activities on chart paper around the room and have students "vote" on the topics using their dots. (Red dots=high priority, green/blue dots=moderate priority, yellow dots = low priority). Have students "defend" their choices or attempt to come to consensus on the choices.

  • Problem-solving Activity - Tips, techniques, and resources for conducting oral problem-solving activities with students that are thematically related to the curriculum

  • Read & Retell - Give students something to read, then have them retell it to a partner, adding a personal experience or connection in the process.

  • Reader, Writer, Reporter - One student reads the paragraph or text, another student records the group's answers about the text, a third student reports the group's answers to the whole class

  • Round Robin - Seat students in small groups. Call out a controversial question or statement and allow students to express their opinions--but students are only allowed to talk one at a time, according to the order in which they are seated around a round table. Consequently, if they wish to respond to something someone else has said, they must make a note of that so that they can remember the comment they wish to make until it is their turn. When it is their turn, they are only allowed to make one comment and/or ask one question. In this way, all students (including those who are reluctant to speak), get a turn.

  • Story Squares - Sketch something in each box related to the topic. Trade papers with a partner. Point to a square on your partner's paper that seems interesting to you and listen to them tell you the story. This activity works best with students who have had at least one year of language study. The teacher should remove the English labels for each box and replace them with labels in the target language before using this worksheet with students. This activity can be used multiple times (for example, the teacher can direct students to choose events from their childhood, from their summer vacation, from a holiday break, from Homecoming week at school, from their favorite television shows or movies, from a short story or novel that they are reading in class, etc.)

  • Talking Chips - Give each student in a group 4 chips of a different color. Students may make comments or ask questions at any time during the small group or whole class discussion, but each time they do, they must "pay" a chip. When they are out of chips, they cannot speak again until everyone has used their chips. Conversely, for each chip the student spends, s/he may earn a point toward some privilege or reward.


  • Test Question - Very similar to an exit ticket. Have students WRITE a fill in the blank, multiple choice, question based on the information from that day. Then, they share the question with 2 others students and attempt to answer them. Walk around and monitor to see if any are worthy to use in front of the class etc. You can collect these and see what it is the from the student perspective on what was most important that day. - cartierm cartierm