Louis Mangione

Innovations in Education, Inc.

February Strategy of the Month

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Chain Relays provide engaging opportunities to practice and review items that come in pairs: vocabulary terms and definitions; characters and quotes; synonyms/antonyms; historic events and times, places, or people, etc. They require individual students to execute single actions that, when combined, form a looped series of words or events. Teacher-generated  cards determine the sequence; students must attend to their classmates’ words or actions to identify appropriate responses.

After preparing the cards (see model, below), shuffle and distribute randomly. Choose a student at random to begin. This student stands and reads the item from the BOTTOM half of his/her card. A different student with the corresponding item on the TOP half of his/her card then stands and reads that information. After a pause, s/he then reads the BOTTOM half of his/her card and waits for yet another student to stand. Play continues until the loop has been completed, and can be extended by racing the clock or having students exchange cards.

EXAMPLE: African American Women in Print

Study the top line on your card. When another student reads the name of the author for that particular published work, stand and read the title (your top line). Then give the name of the author on the bottom half of your card. One of your classmates will name one of that author’s published works.

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