The strategy uses a very simple format in asking students to pick the odd one out from a list of words. It can be used at the beginning of a topic as a starting point to see what students already know, or as an end point to assess and revise a unit. The major concept being addressed is classification.

Main strengths:
· Students familiarise with key vocabulary.
· Students see similarities and differences between key terms.
· It is good fun.
· It can be done quickly and is flexible.


You need to give some thought to the word sets you will use (deciding which is your odd one out and why), and duplicate the worksheets. Or you may wish to present your word sets on an OHP.



Pupils can be told that they are going to be using their classifying skills. A warm-up activity could be to hold up an apple, a banana, some grapes and a carrot and to ask pupils which is the odd one out and to justify their decision! It is important to stress that whilst the carrot in this example appears to be the obvious correct answer, there are alternatives.



1) Distribute resources.
2) Explain (if relevant) that numbers are used as a reference system for the words on the worksheet.
3) Explain that each list of words has an odd one out. Stress the importance of being able to say 'why?' and that you expect geographical reasons! Pupils also need to be able to explain what the other words have in common.
4) Emphasise the importance of discussion and agreement before writing anything down.

Pupils can add an extra word to the sets, keeping the same odd one out.
Pupils can create their own word sets for other pupils to use.
Pupils can try to classify all the words under headings e.g. cause, effect etc.

Managing the activity

Pairs are generally the most suitable groupings, although larger groups could be used. Timing of the activity is flexible, although time should be built in to allow for the vital debrief.





What are the reasons for your answers?
What are the meanings of the key words you have identified as the odd one out?
How were the decisions made within the group?
How were any disagreements within the group overcome?
What extra word could be added to the set still keeping the same odd one out?
What other word sets could be created for other pupils to use?
In which ways can you classify the entire odd one out words?