Clothespin Sliders Partner Conversations


This is a structured conversation activity in which students take turns asking and answering multiple questions (an initial question and a follow up question). Students work in pairs and slide their clothespins to the correct pictures to match what their partner says. The purpose of this activity is to practice using connected sentences.


  1. Create the half-sheet conversation cards following the samples pictured below. Note: For this to be a "we do" activity, the teacher should teacher place the question to be practiced at the top on the left side of the card and the follow-up question is on the right side at the top of the card (as pictured in the samples below). 

  2. Print (and optionally laminate) the conversation cards. Each partner should have the same card.

  3. Partner A asks Partner B the target question. Partner B answers and both partners slide their clothespins to the correct picture on their own card in the first column.

  4. Then Partner A asks the follow up question “Why?”

  5. Partner B answers by connecting the sentences: I am going to the ______ because want to ______.”

  6. When Partner B answers the question, both partners slide their clothespins to the correct picture on their own card in the second column.

  7. Students then switch roles asking and answering questions.

Helpful Tips

  1. In this example, the students are practicing “Where are you going? I am going to _____ because _____.”

    For example, in the example pictured the target question is: “Where are you going?”

    Partner A starts:
    Partner A: Where are you going?
    Partner B: I’m going to the park.
    Partner A: Why?
    Partner B: I’m going to the park because I like to ride my bicycle.

    Students then switch roles and Partner B asks the first question.

    Partner B starts:
    Partner B: Where are you going?
    Partner A: I’m going to my house.
    Partner B: Why?
    Partner A: I’m going to my house because I want to go to sleep.

    The activity can be repeated for many different topics such as,” Where are you going? Why?” and “What does your family member like to do? Why?”


  1. This activity can be done on a simpler level without the follow-up “why” question. The “why” question can be added later after the students have practiced the initial vocabulary. This activity can be repeated using more complex language. 

  2. In order to make this a "you do" activity, the teacher would eliminate the question and sentence frames (since these would have been practiced in prior phases) from the handouts. This way, students would be producing questions/sentences without the support of scaffolding, taking ownership of their acquired language and using it to communicate with no teacher support.

  3. Note: Other follow-up questions can be asked in this activity (i.e. 'how?' 'tell me more' 'what did you think about...?'). 


  1. Printed (possibly laminated for reuse) sheets with pictures of persons, places, activities. 2 clothespins for each student.

Sample Materials

Click a thumbnail to see a larger version.