This is a technique that encourages learners to look in real detail at...well, anything! And it's such a simple way to encourage skills around classification, categorisation and making links.
Learners are asked to consider three items in detail and identify:-
- What do items 1&2 have in common?
- What do items 2&3 have in common?
- What do items 1&3 have in common?
- What do all three have in common?
- What is unique about each item?
The three things to be analysed could be homogeneous, for example
- three poems, or
- three photographs, or
- three pieces of music
or they could be heterogeneous, for example
- one poem, one picture and one diary entry
- one mime, one remembered experience and one advert, or
- one artefact, one photograph and one piece of music.
I'm not sure there is any limit to how this activity can be used. This is the blank template that you could get learners to complete in pairs / small groups before leading a whole class discussion. Try to insist that every box is filled with at least one common / unique feature: the real thinking starts with the boxes that are more challenging to complete.
As with any new tool, learners will take a while to get used to it, so perhaps try it out with some very familiar objects / ideas first.