Megan’s post inspired me to take a stroll through my local dollar store yesterday. Or maybe I was avoiding my homework… Anyways I have been learning a lot about collaborative groups in my ESL methods class. During my observations, I noticed that the students were very segregated by language. This also lowered the amount of English that they were using. So I got an idea on how to trick them a little. 


I bought a bunch of Mardi Gras beads in 5 different colors. After they showed me a completed Scavenger Hunt (search for Megan’s earlier post), I gave them a necklace. Then I threw the twist. I asked them to group up based on the color of the necklace and NO trading allowed. There was some groaning at first, but finally the class was mixed up and speaking more English. I had 5 stations set up based on the 5 colors of the beads. If you need more groups, just buy more colors. I was surprised that 1/4 of the class wrote that “being in groups” was their favorite part of the class today. I thought they would have written my dancing. :/


One more thing, I gave one person in each group an extra gold necklace. I asked that person to be the “king/queen” of the group (read directions, collect work, keep everyone focused). I recollected the necklaces so I can reuse them. Next time I can tell them to group by colors, make a rainbow or I could attach a paper.

How do you group students?