Using collaborative learning is a great way to increase student engagement and consolidate student learning. I will define what collaborative learning is and share my top two favourites for revision.
What is collaborative learning?
Collaborative learning is an instructional strategy that involves students working together in small groups to accomplish a shared goal that will maximize their own and each other’s learning. There are hundreds of variations of strategies that can be used for introducing topics to problem-solving. Here I will introduce my top two for revision of content already learnt.
1. Quiz Quiz Trade
This is one of my favourites. This can be something you prepare in advance, making fancy laminated cards to keep and use over the years. There are also books that you can purchase with photocopiable content. See here. You could also use the flashcard function on Quizlet to create your own.
Or it can be less fancy. Something you quickly add into a lesson as a filler to revisit learnt content. Start by cutting up an A4 piece of paper into 8. Give one to each student and ask them to write a question on one side and the answer on the back. If you have textbooks handy, students could use them for inspiration for questions. This will also help with the quality of the questions.
How to run a quiz quiz trade?
Traditionally, students are asked to move around the class and on the teacher’s command, they stop, find a partner and with their cards quiz each other. After each has had a turn, they swap cards (trade).
Now in high school, some students will not mingle into unknown friendship groups without a gentle push. So to ensure students are mixing up, I prefer to use an inside-outside circle. Set up students in the below format and then move the outside circle to the left and the inside circle remains still, for example. You can have some fun with this!
2. Teams Games Tournament
This is great for engagement because students love it. This is my quick version. You can make it more competitive and have home groups who go and play other groups and collate points for their team. But I like to keep things simple!
You will need at least 32 questions varying in difficulty. See the below image to see how to set them out into the four suits on the question sheet. You will need to arrange the questions from easiest to hardest, 1 (ace) easy, 8 hard. The reason for this is the question number is how many points the students get if answered correctly. See the below example. On a separate sheet, you will need the answers to each of the questions.
Pair students up in mixed ability groupings. Each pair will be competing for points with another pair. Use one group of four to demonstrate to the whole class and use the below instructions on the board to assist.
How to play
Pack of cards – one per group
Question worksheet – one per group
Answer worksheet, score sheet and pen – one per group
- B1 will open cards can take out cards Ace to 6 for all four suits and put all other cards back in the box.
- B2 shuffle cards and place them in the centre of the table.
- Team A will start with the questions. Team B will start with the answers and score sheet.
- A1 will pick a card, read out the question. For example, 2 hearts to picked they will read out this question. If correct, they get 2 points. (The card is put to the side, must not be used twice).
- Team A discuss the possible answer, then A1 will give the final answer.
- B1 locates the answer and reads it out. Team B assess and mark points on the score sheet.
- Teams switch roles after each question.
- Start again with A2 reading question and B2 answering question.
- Let the fun begin!
Each card has different points awarded, for example:
Ace = 1 point
2 = 2 points
3 = 3 points
I hope you can use these when revising with your students. Please share this if you have found it interesting.