Back-to-Back, Face-to-Face is an excellent activity you can do to build background and activate schema before a lesson. It's actually not referred to as an activity in Advanced Literacy. It's called a "protocol" nowadays. Fancy. Well, it doesn't matter what you call it, it gets kids up and moving, and it establishes context for the lesson. Excellent prereading activity.
Back-to-Back, Face-to-Face: First students find a partner. They stand back-to-back. The teacher poses a question. The students think about their answer and give a thumbs up when they are ready. Then, the teacher says, "3, 2, 1, share." The students turn around to face their partner and take turns sharing. When they are done sharing, they turn around and stand back-to-back. When everyone is finished, the teacher tells them to find another partner (if there is another question). To see it in action, click on the link below:
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ENL teacher since 2002.