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5-10 minutes


Primary / Junior / Intermediate




To help students understand the importance of asking questions and asking for help


  • The importance of asking questions and asking for help.
  • All questions are good and that other students might be wondering the same thing.


  • Before any activity, clarify that if students have any questions, they need to ask three students nearby, before coming to you.
  • If a student asks you a question, before you respond, ask: “Did you ask three before me?”
  • If the student has asked three and doesn’t have a satisfactory answer, then answer the question and praise the student for asking three before asking you.


  • At the end of the activity, use feedback to reinforce how students demonstrated effective use of the practice.
  • Remind students to make use of this practice in an ongoing way. This will help to develop this skill.

Cooperative learning engages students in beneficial social interaction by providing a structured opportunity to share and discuss ideas, organize their thoughts, and work with other students (Success for All Foundation, 2010). These opportunities for structured collaboration result in increases in grades, higher retention of information, improvements in peer relationships, intrinsic motivation, time on task, and overall attitudes in the classroom (Slavin, 1995).

Slavin, R. (1995). Cooperative learning: Theory, research, and practice (2nd Ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Success for All Foundation (2010). Power teaching cooperative learning handbook. Retrieved from www.successforall.org