#1 Give One – Get One

(Irvine et al, 2006)

Purpose: This activity is designed to help students access prior knowledge. It promotes connection between students and allows the teacher to also get some feedback about prior learning.


  1. Have students fold a piece of paper lengthwise to form two columns and write “Give One” at the top of the left-hand column and “Get One” at the top of the right-hand column.
  2. Ask students to brainstorm a list of all the things they already know about the topic they will be studying by writing the items down in the left-hand column. You may want to give them a specific number of bullets to guide the amount of responses.
  3. After making the list, have students stand and find a partner. Each person should “give one” of their ideas by saying it out loud. Partners take turns sharing.
  4. Have students write any new information they get from these discussions in the “get one” column of their lists, along with the name of the person who gave them the information.
  5. Students should rotate around the room, talking to two or three partners.
  6. Once everyone has given and received information, the whole class can discuss the information students have listed.


TIP: This activity can be easily scaled up by inviting students to connect with the people in the vicinity of where they are sitting. It will be important to be clear to students how many people they should connect with and the procedure that they should use to determine who to connect with.