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Spotlight on Strategies:Conga line

Students share their thoughts and opinions and recall facts with other students upon a topic. They keep changing partners to recall more facts.

Big idea

“We all know exercise is good for the body. But it’s incredibly good for the brain, too. Exercise zaps harmful stress chemicals. It boosts problem-solving, planning, and attention” (Brain Rules).

The Conga line is a fun strategy that incorporates physical movement into lessons allowing students to move out of their seats and communicate with other members of the class.

Overview of strategy

  • Ages:Early years, Primary & Secondary
  • Media type used:Video, Image & Text
  • Preparation time:Low
  • Download strategy PDF
Steps

Materials: 

media (video, presentation, or text extract), scrap paper

  1. Ask the students to view, read, or listen to the selected media.
  2. Prompt students to think about the material they’ve seen, read, or heard and record their thoughts on paper. Prompts may include:
    • What is one important fact you remember?
    • What is something you would like to explore further?
    • What would you like to share about this topic?
  3. Give students two to three minutes to think about and record their thoughts.
  4. Divide the class into two equal groups and create two lines that face each other with students matched up one-to-one. Name the lines: A and B.
  5. Allow students in line A one minute (30 seconds for younger children) to share their thoughts with their matched partners in line B.
  6. When the one minute is up, give the matched student in line B one minute to comment or provide feedback on what the first student shared.
  7. Switch sides: allow students in line B one minute to share their thoughts and the students in line A one minute to respond and provide feedback.
  8. Ask students in line A to take one step to the right, pairing themselves with the next student in line B. The student at the end of line A should jog to the beginning of the line.
  9. Repeat this process several more times.
  10. The teacher may provide questions or statements based on the media chosen for the students to discuss if additional support is needed. (This is particularly useful when first trying this strategy and when working with younger aged students)
Sum it up

This versatile strategy allows students to move and collaborate, while promoting their ability to engage in meaningful conversations with a variety of classmates.

"Year 1 love using the conga line strategy to share ideas! #SpotlightOnStrategies"

Twitter @GrangehurstCov
More ideas
  • Use Conga line as a get-to-know-you activity on the first day of school. Prompt students with questions such as:
    • What is your favourite colour?
    • What was one thing you did over the summer holidays?
    • Who is your favourite author or book?
    • What would you want your super power to be?
    • What subject do you think is your best?
  • Use Conga line as a formative assessment. Before introducing new material to students, arrange the Conga line and prompt students to discuss broad questions that relate to a new unit of study. (E.g. what do we know about dinosaurs?) Listen closely to what is being discussed to find out what students already know about the topic and where they may have misunderstandings.

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