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Featured Structure

Benefits

Students…

…help each other reach the class goal. They become a community of learners.

…who initially knew no answers become a valuable source for others.

…are actively involved; the class has the tone of an exciting treasure hunt.

…who are knowledgeable are valued by peers.

Students each receive a worksheet. The worksheet can have academic questions such as, “Find someone who knows the value of x for 3x = 18.” Students mingle in the classroom with a hand up until they find a partner. Partners then each ask each other one question from the worksheet. If a partner knows an answer, he or she shares and the other student writes it on the worksheet in his or her own words. If a partner does not know the answer, he or she can share an answer to a question he or she does know. The partner who gave the answer signs his or her name under the answer after checking to make sure that it was correctly written. Students can receive only one answer from a partner and then circulate to find another partner. When a student finishes his or her worksheet, that student becomes a helper by sitting down or standing by the outside walls of the room and becoming a resource for others who can ask the student any question.

One very nice feature of this structure is that students who initially knew none of the answers—after filling in one or two answers—become a resource for others because they have become “someone who knows.”

Differentiated Instruction
  • Some students may be assigned a learning buddy for support.
  • Students needing extra support may be pretaught some of the more difficult content so they can shine when asked by a partner.
  • Worksheets may be color-coded by difficulty and students are instructed to find someone who has their same color.
  • To scaffold for success, students may have multiple-choice rather than free-response answers.
Steps

Setup: The teacher prepares a worksheet or questions for students.

  1. Step 1
    Students Mix
    With worksheets in one hand and the other hand raised, students circulate through the room until they find a partner. “Mix in the room and pair up with a student with a hand up. Put your hands down and each ask each other one question from your sheet. If your partner knows an answer, write the answer in your own words, then have your partner sign your sheet to show he or she agrees.”

  2. Step 2
    Partner A Asks a Question
    In pairs, Partner A asks a question from the worksheet; Partner B answers. Partner A records the answer on his or her own worksheet.

  3. Step 3
    Partner B Checks Answer
    Partner B checks the answer and initials it, indicating he or she agrees.

  4. Step 4
    Partner B Asks a Question
    Partner B now asks a question; Partner A responds. Partner B records the answer on his or her own worksheet.

  5. Step 5
    Partner A Checks
    Partner A checks the answer and initials that he or she agrees.

  6. Step 6
    Partners Depart
    Partners shake hands, part, and raise a hand again as they search for a new partner.

  7. Step 7
    Continue Finding Someone Who
    Students continue mixing and pairing until their worksheets are complete.

  8. Step 8
    Students Sit
    When their worksheets are completed, students sit down; seated students may be approached by others as a resource. Alternatively, finished students may stand along a wall or on the outside perimeter of the room.

  9. Optional
    Teams Compare Answers
    When all students are done, or the teacher calls time, students return to their teams to compare answers; if there is disagreement or uncertainty, they can consult a neighbor team or raise four hands to ask a team question. “Please return to your team and RoundRobin read the question and share the answer. If you have different answers, work it out in your team. If you can’t agree, get help from a nearby team, or raise four hands to ask a team question.”

Structure Power

During Find Someone Who, students become a community of learners. It is pure cooperative learning with every student becoming a resource for others. The structure develops self-esteem and pride in learning as students see that knowing an answer empowers them to gain the respect of others as they help. After receiving an answer, even the lowest achieving student becomes “someone who knows,” experiencing the pride and status of being a helper.

Tips

  • Space the Form. Leave plenty of space for writing answers on the form.
  • One Answer Only. When students pair up, they are only allowed to receive one answer from their new partner. (Otherwise one pair could work together the whole time.)
  • 3 Questions. Allow students to ask a partner up to three questions, trying to find a question the partner knows.
  • Hands High. Show students how to raise their “hands high” when looking for a partner to make the pairing process go quicker.
  • Pairs Only. If your class does not divide evenly by two, join in for the first question. After that, pairs finish at different times so an odd number works.
  • Sponge. Prepare an individual seated activity in advance for students who finish early.
  • Classbuilding. To play Find Someone Who as a classbuilder, have each student turn in one little-known fact about himself or herself that they’d like classmates to learn. Use those personal facts to build a worksheet to have students find classmates who match the characteristics described.
  • Call Time. The teacher can call time at any time. You don’t have to wait until everyone is finished.
  • Model It. Before playing, the teacher models with a student what to do and say from the point they pair up until the point they depart to find a new partner.
  • Preteach. For weaker students or students with special needs, you may work with them prior to Find Someone Who to ensure they know the answer to at least one or two difficult questions so they become a valued resource for their classmates.
Ideas Across the Curriculum

Mathematics
Find someone who knows…

  • How to solve the problem
  • Geometric shapes
  • How to write a fraction correctly
  • How to calculate area/volume

Language Arts
Find someone who knows…

  • How to write letters
  • How to identify the pronouns
  • How to correct this sentence
  • Characters from a story
  • How to correctly spell this word
  • The moral of the story
  • What this abbreviation means
  • How to correct this sentence fragment
  • What happened in the story
  • The author of the poem

Social Studies
Find someone who knows…

  • The name of states/countries
  • The definition of a landform
  • The name of an ocean/continent
  • How to describe a major event in time
  • Which president is currently in office
  • How to identify an amendment in the Bill of Rights
  • How to define a social studies term

Science
Find someone who knows…

  • How to describe an animal characteristic
  • Plants or parts of a plant
  • Ocean life
  • Strates of matter
  • Food groups
  • How to define a science term
  • How to describe a law of nature

Music
Find someone who knows…

  • Musical symbols
  • Musicians’ names
  • Musical periods

Classbuilding
Find someone who knows…

  • Sports—who plays
  • How to ride a bike
  • How to tie a shoe
  • About another state/country
  • About love for pizza
  • About a dream car

Second Language
Find someone who knows…

  • Greetings
  • Vocabulary
  • Emotions
  • Directions
  • Weather
  • Plants
  • Insects
Variations
  • Info Search. Start with a topic on which all students have no information. Every student gets an Info Search form, which is a worksheet with questions on it. If there are ten questions on the worksheet, ten students get an answer sheet with one answer filled in. Students then play the game just like Find Someone Who. Soon all students have all the answers.
  • Find Those Who. Students circulate about the classroom in pairs or teams searching for another pair or team who has the answers.

From

68 Kagan Structures

  • 68 Step-by-step Kagan Structures
  • Revolutionary teaching strategies to boost engagement
  • Activity ideas across the curriculum
  • Ready-to-use activities and resources

Click to learn more.