Journey to Excellence

Complex Cooperative Sample Lesson 2

Teacher: Lister/Rodenberg Date: 21 June 1998
Unit: Island Formation/Volcano Grade: 9
Topic: Corals and Sea Creatures Structure: Pairs Check


  • Dimensions of Learning: The students will work together to answer important questions from the textbook.
  • Content: The students will determine the difference between corals and other sea creatures.
  • Social Skills: The students will work together to summarize other important information.


  • Photos of corals and sea creatures
  • Pairs check worksheets
  • Pens, pencils for students
  • Notepaper


  • Group size: 4
  • Group selection: heterogeneous, assigned by teacher.
  • Positive Interdependence: One worksheet per pair, one answers, the other coaches.
  • Group Accountability: Answers must agree.
  • Individual Accountability: Identify a species by details from the textbook.
  • Roles: pairs switch back and forth between worker and coach.


  • Side by side pairs.
  • Names at the top of the paper.
  • Person on the right answers, person on the left coaches, then switch roles.
  • Check across to partner pairs to make sure everyone agrees.
  • Check off #1, go to #2.

Monitoring Group Work: Walk about helping as necessary (verbal praise).

Processing Content:

  • Use worksheets to record answers.
  • Take enough time for each student to note important details on notepaper.
  • Summarize to partner.
  • Summarize to whole class.

Processing Group Dynamics:

  • Journal about your learning style in pairs check.
  • Did the Pairs Check strategy help you learn?
  • Did the Pairs Check strategy provide motivation?
  • What is too much help?
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