Grab Your Partner and Let’s Learn!

Grab Your Partner and Let’s Learn!

Having children work with a partner is another powerful teaching strategy. Through partner activities children can develop:

                  • social skills
                  • cooperation
                  • problem solving
                  • independence
                  • oral language
                  • creativity

Scaffolding commonly occurs when one child with advanced skills helps a buddy attain a higher level. To avoid common behavior problems that can occur when children pick their own partner, try one of these ideas!

Buddy Sticks – Put letters, colors, shapes, or stickers on the bottoms of craft sticks. (You will need as many sticks as there are children in your classroom.) Children choose a stick and then find the person whose stick matches theirs. That is their partner.

Hint! When there is an odd number of students, let the last child chose whichever group they would like to be a part of.

Puzzle Pairs - Take valentines or other seasonal cutouts and cut them in half using a puzzle design. Children put puzzles together to find their partner.

Animal Pals - Put like animal pictures on 3”x 5” index cards. Children choose a card and then begin walking around as they make that animal sound. When they find a friend making a similar sound, they’ve found their partner!

Elbow – Stick out your elbow and the person you touch is your partner.

Friendship Time – Give each child a handout with the face of the clock. By the “12” each child writes the names of 3 friends they like to work with. By the “3” they write the names of 3 classmates they’d like to know better. By the “6” the girls write the names of 3 boys and the boys write the names of 3 girls. By the “9” write “free choice.” Before assigning a partner project, the teacher calls out 12, 3, 6, or 9. Students look at their clocks and find a partner from that list.

Old Maid – Take two of each pair of characters from a deck of Old Maid cards. Children choose a card and then match up characters to create partners. If there is an odd number of students insert the Old Maid card. Whoever picks that card can choose any group they’d like to work with.

Coaches - To encourage more advanced students to “coach” classmates who are struggling, pass out paper cutouts of one color to advanced students and cutouts of another color to struggling students. Ask them to find someone with a different color.

Partner Poem – Children face their partner, look them in the eyes and chant:

                    Hand to hand (shake hands)
                    And feet to feet (touch shoes)
                    I’m glad that you
                    Are partners with me!

 After working with a partner they close by saying:

                    Hand to hand (shake hands)
                    And knee to knee (touch knees)
                    Thank you for being
                    Partners with me!

Next Page