Give One, Get One, Move On

This is a low-prep, kinesthetic brainstorming activity that allows students to move around the room to ask and answer questions about a theme or collaboratively brainstorm vocabulary and language chunks in preparation for other interpersonal or presentational activities. This activity is designed to help students access and build on prior knowledge.


  1. Students use a blank sheet of paper to create a graphic organizer for the activity:

    - Option 1: divide the paper into two sections, labeling one as "Give One" and the other as "Get One".

    Option 2: divide the paper into three columns and three rows, creating a grid of 9 squares.

  2. The teacher provides a topic, prompt or question. Students spend a few minutes on their own either brainstorming  vocabulary (for a topic) or responses (for a prompt/question). They record each of the responses they have come up with in the "Give One" column/or in the first row of their grid.

  3. On the teacher’s signal, students stand up and move around the classroom to find a conversation partner. Students exchange ideas until each student has given their partner a word or response that they did not have previously and gotten a new word/response from their partner. Students record responses in the "Get One" column/or the bottom two rows of their grid.

  4. On the teacher’s signal, the students move around the classroom again to find a different conversation partner and the procedure repeats. The teacher decides the number of rounds that are appropriate for each class of students.

  5. (Optional) Once the teacher calls time, they may choose to do a whole-class brainstorm to debrief the activity. This can also be done at the beginning of the following class period in order to give the teacher time to review student responses first as well as give students an additional opportunity to access and recall information. 

Helpful Tips

  1. This activity could also be done using technology (iPads or tablets), especially for languages with more challenging writing systems, in order to maximize efficient use of class time. 

  2. As students brainstorm, the teacher should circulate around the room to provide feedback and support to students.

  3. The teacher may choose to visually check students' notes or choose to collect the notes and provide written corrective feedback to ensure that students notes are complete and correct to provide scaffolding in later activities or lessons.

  4. The teacher should be sure to emphasize that students must keep their lists hidden from their partners at all times. 


  1. One sheet of blank paper per student.

  2. Sample graphic organizer