Strategies for Pairing Learners

Ideas for Lower Elementary:

Have 1 pair of each item with enough for a whole class: (Be sure to make it very clear what is to be matched – i.e. color or shape or both.)

  1. Colored shapes
  2. Cards in pairs with different shapes, pictures, or words
  3.  Variety of small articles   e.g. large paper clips, crayons, pencils, small toy figures, etc.

Hand out and allow students to find partners for the day, week, or activity.

Ideas as student skills advance:

Create card pairs with:

  1. Different math problems that have the same answer.
  2. Words that have the same vowel sound/endings, prefix, etc.
  3. State and capital city match
  4. Academic Vocabulary word and definition
  5. Words that rhyme
  6. Words that are synonyms, antonyms, homophones, etc.
  7. A Quote split on two cards
  8. Math formula on one card – Name on the other  i.e. Area of a triangle
  9.  Addition/Subtraction matches
  10. Times table match -  e.g.  5 x 9  45
  11. Division problem match
  12. Measurement matches
  13. Life Principle and definition
  14. One of the Eight Expectations split on two cards
  15. Content questions and answers


Materials Note:
It is not necessary to have only one set of identical matches.  For larger classes it works to have two or even three matching sets.  As students become familiar with this strategy, extend it by having them create sets from content that may be used for pairing the class.

© 2018 Great Expectations ®