Valentine’s Day.  A day devoted to the expression of love between various relationship “pairs.”  A son and mother, a father and daughter, a husband and wife.

These are just a few examples that immediately come to mind, so on a day like Valentine’s Day, I figured I’d post this article that I came across describing some different ways to pair students.

Don’t have time to read the article?  A few of the provided ideas are centered around having “missing halves” find each other.  For instance, one student has a vocabulary word and another has its corresponding definition.  The two students have to find each other to form a pair.

This got me thinking about other ways to possibly pair students using this concept:


One student has the first half of the analogy and the other has the second half.  The possibilities are endless depending on the unit of study.

Geography –    latitude:parallels     ::     longitude:meridians

Chemistry –     proton:electron       ::     positive:negative

Math –   associative:grouping         ::     commutative:order

*You can switch up the relationship patterns in the analogies.  See the difference between Geography and Chemistry. 

Close Reading Strategies

One student has the name of the strategy and the other student has the matching example from the touchstone/mentor text.  *The examples below contain a close reading “signpost” as laid out in Notice and Note, and the text comes from Esperanza Rising.

Words from the Wiser   “Don’t be afraid to start over. “

Aha Moment  “Because they were the hands of a poor campesina.”

There are really so many different options.  These pairing strategies can be used throughout a unit, at any time in the year to review a unit, or just for fun.

Timing the students and trying to create/break class records can increase engagement as they try to find their pairs.  Maybe even have your students find their pairs silently!

We’d love to hear from you.  Do you have any creative or effective ways of pairing students?  Let us know! 

In the meantime, we wish you a very Happy Valentine’s Day!