Louis Mangione

Innovations in Education, Inc.

January Strategy of the Month

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Who’s Met Their Match?

This activity engages small groups of students to collaborate in a matching exercise that motivates them to help each other think and make decisions. This activity can be used as a review, but it can also be very powerful as an opening activity to a new lesson or unit. This activity allows students to “frontload” key information, concepts or vocabulary, ignites curiosity in the upcoming lesson, and gives all students a certain familiarity with the material up front.


• Create a set of paired items by creating a two-column table (consider words and definitions, illustrations and labels, opposites, now and then/before and after pairs, quotes and authors, dates and specific historical events, cause and effect, etc.)
• Make as many copies as you will need (10-12 per class of 30 or more)
• Separate the columns and then cut to separate only the items in one of the two matching columns (i.e. vocab in a column, un-cut / definitions cut, separated and shuffled)
• Divide students into groups of three or four
• Give each group one column and its corresponding items
• As a team of 3 or 4, students will have a set amount of time to collaborate to match the separate items with the information in the column (To ensure that all are involved, require that each person place at least 3 of the given items)
• When all items are in place for each team, have them circulate to analyze the results of other sets from at least two different teams in the room
• Students now return to their own set and decide whether or not they would like to change their set.
Teacher now reveals the column of information with the correct corresponding item (if you can, reveal each answer one at a time, allowing them to adjust along the way if necessary.


1808    Congress bans the importation of slaves from Africa.
1831 Nat Turner leads slave uprising
1846 Frederick Douglass launches his abolitionist newspaper.
1849 Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery
1870 15th Amendment ratified, giving blacks the right to vote.
1896 Plessy v. Ferguson: Supreme Court holds that racial segregation is constitutional
1947 Jackie Robinson breaks Major League Baseball’s color barrier
1954 Brown v. Board of Education: racial segregation in schools is unconstitutional
1955 Emmett Till, murdered;   Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat
1963 Martin Luther King : “I Have a Dream“ speech
1964 Civil Rights Act (prohibits racial segregation)
1965 Congress passes the Voting Rights Act of 1965
1967 Thurgood Marshall becomes the first black Supreme Court Justice.
1983 Guion Bluford Jr. was the first African-American in space.


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