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Give One Get One Teaching Strategy

The Give One, Get One teaching strategy ensures that all students are involved and participating in the lesson. 

The Give One Get One teaching strategy ensures that all students are involved and participating in the lesson.

How Does This Give One Get One Teaching Strategy Work?

  1. Have students get out a sheet of blank paper and divide it in half.  They should label one side Give One and one side Get One and be sure to leave a bit of space at the top to write a given question.
  2. Pose an open-ended question to your students.  Have them write it at the tops of their papers. Something like “Do you agree that…” or “Was the author of the article correct when he said…” or even “Was _______ (character, historical figure, etc.) justified when he/she…”.
  3. Give students several minutes to think about and respond to the question. They should record their thoughts in the Give One column. Students do not need to use complete sentences here. These should be lists not paragraphs. Encourage students to include their rational – the whys.  This could be facts from the text, life experiences, or other relevant facts and information.
  4. Once all students have several thoughts down, have students partner with a classmate to share. Set a visual timer to let students know when it is time to find a new partner. 
  5. Student A should share information from their Give One column with Student B until Student A comes up with something that is not on Student B’s Give One list. Student B should write this idea down (even if they do not agree with it) in his or her Get One column.
  6. Students then switch roles and repeat Step 5.  As students are discussing, be sure to circulate and listen so that you can not only hear what students are saying, but also discover factual misinterpretations and holes in students’ thought process for correction later.
  7. After both Student A and B have shared, they should find new partners and repeat Steps 5 and 6.  This activity should continue until either all students have partnered with every student in the class or you call time.
  8. Have students reflect on their lists and new ideas. This can be done through class discussion or individually through something like journal writing. In addition to getting students’ thoughts on the original question, asking things like, “Do you still have the same opinion you did at the beginning?  Why or why not?” can be very productive.
  9. This can be completed digitally using Google Meet/Zoom breakout rooms or whole call video meetings where the teacher calls on each student/volunteer to share an idea.

How Do I Use This Give One Get One Strategy?

  1. At the Beginning: Give One, Get One is a great way to assess students’ knowledge (both correct and incorrect), thoughts, and opinions on a topic before teaching it.  This topic could be anything from WWII (i.e. “What was the cause of WWII?”) to poetry (i.e. “What makes something a poem?”). 
  2. Debate: Give One, Get One is a fun alternative to a class debate on a topic or idea from a piece of literature or other text they have read.
  3. At the End: Give One, Get One is a great way to review a topic, especially before assessments were students respond in short- or long-form essays.  

Why Do I Love This Give One Get One Strategy?

  1. Everyone is involved and everyone must participate. 

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