About Each One Teach One

E1T1 is short for “Each One Teach One” – a management technique and way to have participants learn from each other. (See  for all Lessons and Cards we have…)
Each One Teach One is a simple technique for imparting small pieces of understanding to a group—one student at a time. Each student confronts new information, learns it and then is empowered to teach it to each other student. It allows the teacher rare one-on-one instructional time and lets you select “lessons” appropriate to particular student learning styles, energy levels and personalities.
As a teaching method it can be used with almost any subject or content area that can be divided into small bits such as species of plants or animals and ecological concepts, or physical objects.
E1T1 is short for “Each One Teach One” – a management technique and way to have participants learn from each other. (See  for all Lessons and Cards we have…)
Each One Teach One is a simple technique for imparting small pieces of understanding to a group—one student at a time. Each student confronts new information, learns it and then is empowered to teach it to each other student. It allows the teacher rare one-on-one instructional time and lets you select “lessons” appropriate to particular student learning styles, energy levels and personalities.
As a teaching method it can be used with almost any subject or content area that can be divided into small bits such as species of plants or animals and ecological concepts, or physical objects.

Each One Teach One consists of five steps:

1. Introduction: This is a group session, with all members listening as a broader subject is introduced.

2. Teach One: The teacher works with each student individually to instruct a small amount of information.
3. Observe Student Teaching: The teacher watches as each student teaches his or her first lesson.
4. Students Teach Each Other: Each new “teacher” teaches a 2-minute lesson to each other student.
5. Wrap Up: Once reconvened, the group discusses the subject and the experience of being a teacher.

Procedure:

Prepare Prompts: Select a topic for which you can divide material into as many “mini-subjects” as you have students. Prepare cards, props or other prompts for each subject. The cards should have brief facts, statements, diagrams, pictures in bite-sized chunks. A mix of different forms of information can be useful if students have a wide variety of learning styles. The cards provide cues and structure to students’ lessons.
Set Up Activity: Select a location that allows you to keep track of all your students—trails and beaches work well. Open areas like meadows or lawns work too if you can set up in a linear pattern that circles back to the starting point.

Second teacher: A second adult or leader is needed. Ideally, this person can continue discussion with students at the starting point until all students are engaged in the activity. This person is also the last “student” to pass through the process and can be a good person to “test” at the end. This person will also manage time to keep the activity moving.

Lecture: Introduce your subject with an overview. What larger concepts connect all of the individual parts being taught? Explain the steps. Explain the importance of teaching as a way of learning. Encourage all students to add what they may already know to the information they will be taught.

First Student: Teacher 1 leads Student 1 to just beyond earshot of group, selects a prompt card and gives a 2-minute lecture on the subject. Point to pictures, act out behaviors. Tailor your lesson to that student.

Second Student: After 2 minutes, Student 2 joins Teacher 1 and Student 1.
Student 1 leads the lesson for Student 2 with the teacher listening, encouraging and making small suggestions.

Third Student: After 2 minutes, Teacher 1 and Student 2 move a short distance for their private lesson. Student 3 goes to Student 1 for their lesson.

Fourth Student: After 2 minutes, Student 3 joins Teacher 1 and Student 2 for the observed lesson and Student 4 goes to Student 1.
And so on…(it can be very helpful to demonstrate this with an illustration or with props (such as rocks) representing all of the people).
Teacher 2 stays with the group as it diminishes, becoming the last student. When no new students come, each student moves up the chain until all have arrived at a final point, where Teacher 1 has collected a group of students who have completed the activity.

Conclusion: Ask the group about the experience. Did everyone like being a teacher? Did they become better teachers as they learned more? What were the interesting parts of the lesson? Finally, reinforce the larger concepts by illustrating the relationships of the mini-lessons to the bigger picture. For a fun quiz, have every student ask Teacher 2 a test question.

Discussion:

Each One Teach One combines listening, speaking, individual and group instruction and creates an exciting and active context for outdoor learning. It can be tailored to many learning styles and personalities. It works in many physical settings.
Time management is critical. Stay on the 2-minute clock. Allow enough time for everyone to participate (Do the math – and plan some extra time plus intro and conclusion).
Request that students move in an orderly procession from one station to the next. Students that hurry to the next station interrupt the one-on-one sessions.
PLAN FOR THINGS TO KEEP LEARNERS OCCUPIED AT THE BEGINING AND END AS THEY WAIT FOR THE REST OF THE GROUP!
Here are some of the “E1T1” cards we use at IslandWood.  Some include information such as Latin Name, Lushootseed (language of the Native Peoples of the area) names, ethnobotanical uses (uses of plants by the first peoples) as well as drawings and photos.  There are specific to our area, but you can make them fairly easily for your own area.  (Idea: If you are in a classroom, have the children create their own as a research project and then go outside and run the “Each One Teach One” activity using their own “crib sheets” or “cheat sheets.”)
The following documents are used at IslandWood.  They are designed to be printed double sided – flipping along the side – and then cut in half:

All E1T1 files can be found here.

As a way to continue the plant identification skills students have learned during E1T1, with a little planning ahead the lesson can flow well into Leaf in a Bag. This extends the lesson to add some inquiry, teambuilding, and an arts focus. See the write-up at the bottom of the Leaf in a Bag lesson page.

See Also:

E1T1 Extension – abiotic needs of plants
Ethnobotany Each One Teach One
(See  for all Lessons and Cards we have…)
Competition between species

References and Further Reading

Joseph Cornell. Sharing the Joy of Nature (Dawn Publications; 1989) This is an expansion of Joseph Cornell’s insightful theory and practice of experiential environmental education.
Joseph Cornell. Sharing Nature With Children (Dawn Publications; 1979) Joseph Cornell’s brief classic on experience-based environmental education.
Thom Henley. Rediscovery: Ancient Pathways, New Directions (Lone Pine Publishing; Revised Edition 1996) Thom Henley’s Rediscovery programs and methods blend traditional outdoor education with appropriate cultural settings and teachings to create exceptional learning and growing opportunities for youth of Native American, Native Hawaiian, Native Alaskan, Maori and other indigenous groups.
Gary Paul Nabhan and Stephen Trimble. The Geography of Childhood (Beacon Press; 1994). A series of thoughtful and necessary essays that explore the role of place in the learning process.

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