One way I like to break things up is by asking my students to
form a line from one side of the room to the other. I'll ask
them to line up alphabetically, or by birthdate, or number of
children, or age, or shoe size, etc.... The thing I like about this
activity is that it forces the students to talk to eachother to
find out where they belong and absolutely no one can just sit back
and not participate. Anyway, once I get them in a line, I'll take
the first two and make them a pair, or the first four, or whatever
I need. I've also found that the first time I did this activity,
the students were a little confused, but now they know the drill
and enjoy it.
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