In Wavelength, students attempt to find the similarities between two random words and say it at the same time as their partner. This activity allows students to get to know how their classmates think. It can also lead to further conversation about the choices that they made in trying to find the similarities between their words.


In-person classes:

  1. Ask students to pair up with one another. They should introduce themselves if they do not know the other person.
  2. Instruct students to think of a word, but not to say it out loud. This word should be a person, place, or thing. (You could also choose to provide a broad category of words to students as well.)
  3. Tell students that they will count to three and then say the words they thought of at the same time as their partner.
  4. After hearing their partner’s word and their own, they should think of a new word that those two concepts have in common. (If you gave them a category, tell students that the category can’t be their answer.)
  5. Students will keep going until they come to the same (or similar) word at the same time. If your students get “stuck” they can always start over with new words.
  6. Have students talk to one another about their choices after they have completed this task successfully.

Online classes: Instructions for online classes are largely the same as they are for in-person classes. However, because students are online, they will need to use technology in order to partner with one another. To do this, send students in pairs to breakout rooms after explaining the instructions to the whole class. Make sure you allow them to ask any questions about how to complete this task prior to sending them to a breakout room. Mixed-mode or Hybrid classes: Students in mixed mode classes will follow the instructions for in-person classes and online classes. To simplify the pairings, have students in-person pair with someone else physically in class, and send online students to breakout rooms with other online students. Evaluation: When used for community building, no evaluation is needed. When used for analysis, invite students to share their answer and give feedback.

At a Glance


timerClass Time Requirements: < 10 Minutes

timerPreparation Time: Low

Bloom’s Levels:

Create info Putting materials together to form a unique product.
Evaluate info Making judgments based on checking against given criteria.
Analyze info Breaking materials into parts to determine structures and relationships.
Apply info Using procedures to carry out a task.
Understand info Constructing meaning from information.
Remember info Using memory to recall facts and definitions.

Learn more about Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Associated Technology Tools:
Associated Teaching Strategies:
Flipped Classroom Cooperative Learning