Snowball Technique – A Teaching Strategy

Free Printables to Practice using the Snowball Technique in Your ClassroomThe Snowball Technique is a way for students to teach each other important concepts and information. Students begin by working alone. Next they collaborate with a partner. Partners form groups of four. Groups of four join together to form groups of eight. This snowballing effect continues until the entire class is working together as one large group.

Read these instructions to see if you would like try this teaching technique in your classroom.


  1. Provide students with information. This may include texts, photos, and other resource materials.
  2. Give students approximately 10 minutes to read through the material. Students determine the key facts.
  3. Once students have written down the main details on a graphic organizer, they share what they know with one other student. Students become teachers explaining the information.
  4. Two pairs then form groups of four. The process is repeated. Students compare notes. Each student adds additional details to his organizers.
  5. Groups of four may be combined into groups of eight. The process is repeated.
  6. Continue combining groups and discussing information. You may stop with a specific number in a group or continue until the entire class is one large group.

Variation #1 – Have students work individually, with a partner, and then in groups of four. Stop at this point, and have a class discussion.

Variation #2 – Place students in groups of four or five. Call this group the Expert Group. Students in this group discuss one portion of a task. After a specific time, students move to Home Groups. A Home Group consist of one person from each different Expert Group. Students share the information from the Expert Group with the Home Group. With this technique, each member of the class is responsible for teaching one bit of information to the Home Group.


  • This technique actively engages students.
  • Students become the teachers.
  • This method provides opportunities for collaboration.

Give this Strategy a Try

This free printable contains all you need to give this technique a try. All of the sources tell about Cornwallis’s surrender at Yorktown on October 19, 1781.

The following materials are included:

Give the Snowball Technique a try with these free materials about Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown.

This activity makes a great addition to my novel unit Woods Runner.

Woods Runner Book Unit

This activity compliments the American Revolutionary War Lapbook.

American Revolutionary War Lap Book

Gay Miller

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