14 Fun Ways to Group Up Students

14 fun ways to group students

It’s important to be mindful of how to group kids and to have different strategies for splitting kids up into groups for team challenges. A huge part of entrepreneurship is working in teams, so it’s helpful to have lots of ways to group kids.

Group work will help students think of ideas they never would have had and gives them confidence in knowing they are part of a team that helps solve problems.

This list includes 14 great ways to make groups of all sizes, from partner pairs to large teams!

Partner grouping ideas (2 students):

  1. Elbow Partners: Turn to the person at your elbow (either one) and partner up with them.

  2. Coin Flip: Each student gets a coin. Flip it in the air. Look how the coin or counter landed and find a person with the same coin face (heads or tails) and pair up with them.

  3. Sit, Stand, Squat: Everyone will walk around the room (to music if you’d like). Once the music stops or you say, “freeze,” students will decide if they want to sit, stand, or squat. Once they make their choice, students will partner with someone who did the same action as them. Alternatively, for a larger group suggestion, have all sitters in one group, all standers in another, and squatters together.

  4. Freeze Dance: Play music and have kids can dance or just walk around (they can walk or dance in slow motion if they want to!). Stop the music. Kids must high-five the person closest to them; that is their partner

  5. Animal Act-It-Out: Act like your favorite animal. When instructor says, “freeze,” find a partner that acted out either the same animal as you or someone whose animal has the same characteristics (same body covering, same animal group, same habitat, etc.).

  6. Inside Circle, Outside Circle: Half the group will stand in a large circle and the other half will form a smaller circle inside and facing the students in that large circle. Either play music or just have students walk around in their respective circles. When the music stops or instructor says, “freeze,” students will stop moving. The person they are facing is their partner.

Larger grouping ideas (3+ students):

Written with groups of 4 in mind, these methods can be modified easily with group sizes ranging from 3-6. Any of the strategies for creating partner groups from above can also be used to form larger groups as well; simply repeat activity, adding or combining groups until you have the desired number of group members!

  1. Puzzle Pictures: Print as many pictures as the total number of groups you want to have of anything your kids might like (puppy, superhero, snack, etc.). Cut the picture into 4 pieces. Students will walk around to find the matching pieces to make the complete picture and form their group.

  2. Popsicle Stick Groups: Gather enough popsicle sticks for all of your students and then divide them into 4 groups—label the popsicle sticks in each group with the number 1, 2, 3, or 4. Put the labelled popsicle sticks in a cup. Students will draw out a stick, and all of the students with same number on them will be in a group.

  3. I Am an Entrepreneur: Stand in a circle (If you have a board or large chart paper, write “I Am An Entrepreneur.” If not, say that sentence out loud to students). Go around and each student will say one word of that sentence. Tell them to remember what word they said. After everyone in the circle has said a word, tell all of the “I’”s to go to one corner of the room, all the “Am”s in another, the “An”s in the third corner, and the “Entrepreneur”s in the last corner.

  4. You Choose: Let students choose a partner. Then, instructor chooses partner groups to combine to make groups of 4.

  5. Card Deck: Decide how many groups of 4 you will need and put in four cards of the same suit for each group (for example, if you want to have 5 groups of 4, leave 4 aces, 4 queens, 4 kings, 4 jacks, and 4 10’s in the pile of cards students will draw from). Have students draw a card from the pile or leave a card face down on their desk. Students will find and stand with group members with the same card.

  6. Draw a Color: Put four strips or squares of paper of four (or the total number of groups you will have) different colors in a bag. Students will draw out a strip or square and find their group members with matching colors.

  7. Picture Match: Put four copies of four (or the total number of groups you want to have) different pictures in a bag or hat (pictures could be of anything that will interest your kids-animals, superheroes, TV shows they enjoy, public figures they are learning about or admire, etc.). Students will draw out a picture and find their group members with a matching picture.

  8. Opposites Attract: For each group of 4 students, print 2 cards with one picture and 2 cards that have the opposite picture (for example, 2 (identical) pictures of summer and two (identical) pictures of winter). Give out one card to each student. Students will first find the match to their card, and then find the 2 opposites to their card to form a group of 4 (Picture ideas could include hot/cold, day/night, empty/full, left/right, sweet/sour, heavy/light).

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