Group Work

Collaborative GroupsGrouping Students

Small group activities are incorporated into many unit lessons. One hour of organization will make transitioning your class into group activities simple.

1) Purchase insertable name badges (lanyards) for each student in your class. You may use fold & clip name badges or the hanging name badges with neck straps.

2) Write or type the names of each student on the individual rectangular inserts provided with the name badges.

3) Before punching the rectangular inserts apart, take them to the copying machine and make copies in four to five colors based on the number of students in your class.

4) Using a paper cutter, slice the rectangles apart.

5) Make a stack (one of each color) of a student’s name and store all colors in one vinyl holder of the lanyard.

6) Sort students into groups by color. Simply place the student’s name printed on “blue” paper at the top of the stack before placing the names in the lanyard. All students who have “blue” names will form the “blue” group. Repeat with each color until you have formed each group.

You may easily rearrange groups by shuffling different color name tags to the top of the stack.

Collaborative Handout for
Group Roles

Additional Uses for Individual Lanyards

Play “Round About.” In this fun activity, students get out of their desks and move around the room. This is a welcomed change from the many pencil and paper activities they so frequently are required to do. Here are the instructions for the activity:


  • Make cards with the definitions of vocabulary words. Write a number on each card. Students place these cards in their lanyards. Note: I often have students turn their lanyards around, so they are hanging down the students’ backs. This helps with personal space.

  • Give students a sheet with vocabulary words.

  • Set a timer. When the timer begins, students walk around the room reading the definitions. They must write the corresponding number of the definition next to each vocabulary word on their sheet. When the timer stops, students return to their seats.

  • The answers are checked to determine how many correct responses are identified.

    This activity may be used for any skill that requires matching.


Gay Miller


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