“Nothing in common”

This might work.

Tell your students to find two things with seemingly nothing in common.

Then, have those students name, draw, photograph, bring in, etc. those things.

Partner students up.

Now, have the partners switch their things with “nothing in common.”

Now, prompt students to think, brainstorm, and write to find the commonalities between his/her partners two things with nothing in common.

Finally, after a few minutes, have students close the activity with a discussion among the class to share out their ideas.

This can be linked to a writing assignment or just for fun.  It might help teach empathy and perspective, promote dialogue and discussion.

It might be fun.

It might fail.

What do you think?  Leave a note in the comments section.

2 thoughts on ““Nothing in common”

  1. Jaclyn Tansey January 26, 2018 / 5:14 pm

    I love this idea! The past few years I have done an assignment similar to this, at the beginning of the school year, to build our classroom community. Each student gets paired with a partner (preferably someone they did not know from the previous year). Students take turns interviewing each other to learn more about one another. At the end of the assignment, they write an essay about their partner and introduce him or her to the class.

    I love your spin on this idea, by having students draw, photograph, or bring in items that are different. Perhaps, you (or teachers) can have each student bring in two different items that represent them. They can make the connection how the items may be different but also have many similarities, as do they. This can be taken to a deeper level comparing each child’s items in the class and finding common connections.


    • lindstrom January 28, 2018 / 8:01 am

      Hey Jaclyn,
      You definitely provide your students an opportunity to listen and practice empathy in your assignment. By students writing about one another, it links back to standards for writing and requires students to listen carefully. Great work! Thank you for sharing!


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