Student Engagement Series: Quiz, Quiz, Trade

A vocabulary strategy to reach ALL English Language Learners.

We had been working on the water cycle for weeks, and I made sure my ELLs were grasping the vocabulary words that went along with it. Towards the end of the unit, I asked one of my precious ELLs to explain to me the word condensation.

His response? A puzzled looked on his face and one word.."que?"

Oh boy, I knew I needed to take a step back and spend some more time on this vocabulary and find ways to make it more meaningful. One of the biggest struggles as a teacher of ELLs is to find engaging ways to promote academic vocabulary conversations as well as figure out where students are at in their language development. This task might feel overwhelming and like you have to have superpowers to accomplish this, but thankfully there are

some really simple and useful strategies that will help

target both using academic vocabulary and monitoring student progress.

Quiz, Quiz, Trade is one of those strategy superpowers that will boost the conversations amongst your students while using academic vocabulary. I call that a major win!

Here's how it works:

Quick breakdown:

  • Takes about 10-20 minutes to complete.

  • Best used in a whole group setting.

  • Targets the listening, speaking, reading, and writing domains.

Overview: The Quiz, Quiz, Trade strategy is a great way to get students moving, thinking, and review information. This strategy is a great way to review facts or vocabulary, and make something that could be boring into something your students will love to do!


-Quiz flashcards (either student created or teacher created)


-Expectation Poster

How to run this strategy:

1. Begin this activity by creating flashcards or having students create flashcards. There are two ways you can create the flashcards. You can write down questions or vocabulary words and pass out for the students to answer. Or you can have the students write down questions or vocabulary words and have them answer. One side of the notecard should have a question or vocabulary word, and the other side should have the answer.

2. Once the flashcards are ready you can begin the strategy. (Tip: you might want to do this on two different days so you can check over the flashcards for accuracy.)

3. To do this strategy, you will pass out the flashcards to each student. The students will then pair up with a partner and quiz each other. They can show the student the question, and then the partner will check the answer. Or they can give them the vocabulary word and check their definition of the word.

4. After the students each quiz each other, they will do some form of praise. Then they will trade their flashcards, raise their hand, and walk around finding another partner who has their hand raised. They will repeat the process again until time is up.

Tips and Tricks:

Here are some thinks to think of ahead of time.

•If the students are creating the flashcards, make sure to check over answers before doing the activity. You don’t want the students to be quizzing each other on wrong information.

•Review the expectations of how to praise each other, and how to find a new partner.

•Review expectations for how to help a student if their answer is incorrect.

•Take it a step further by having students reflect on an area they need to review.

Benefits for ELLs:

This strategy is so easy to implement, and comes with so many benefits for ELLs. It allows the affective filter to be lowered so that they feel more comfortable taking in the material presented by movement and discussion with peers. They also feel more comfortable sharing ideas because their peers are not focusing on their answers.

Want to grab a FREE strategy pack with all the materials you need to get you started on this strategy? Just click below and get access today!

I would LOVE to see how you use this strategy in your classroom!

Just tag me on Instagram at Inspiring Young Learners!

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