Keeping Students Engaged, Part 4: I Have, Who Has

Welcome back to Part 4 of Keeping Students Engaged.  Thank you so very, very much for reading along the past several weeks!  If you're just stumbling upon this series for the first time and would like to read from the beginning, you can do so by clicking here or by clicking the "Engagement Activities" label on the right hand sidebar.

This week I'll be talking about the structured engagement activity known as I Have, Who Has.  When I say "structured engagement activity" I am referring to an activity that can be used and reused throughout the year with different skills and content.  While the content changes, the activity itself does not.  
Student Engagement I Have Who Has

I Have, Who Has is a great structure to have in your bag of tricks.  The kids think it's fun, and it forces them to focus and stay on task. So, let's get started!

What is it?
I Have, Who Has is an easy to play game.  It is a whole group activity that keeps kids on their toes.  It is perfect for practicing concepts like grammar, math, phonics, sight words, vocabulary, and so on.  It's versatility is what makes it another great structure to have on hand.

In this game, students take turns reading questions printed on a special set of cards.  When a student recognizes that they have the card with the answer to a question, they read their entire card aloud.  In doing so, they answer the question, as well as ask the next question.  This continues until all of the cards have been read and all of the questions answered.

How to Play
  1. Give each student a card.  If you have more cards than students, then some students will end up with two cards.
  2. The person with the start card reads his/her card.  If you don't have a card specifically identified as a "start" card, then pick a student to read his/her card.  It doesn't matter in this case because the game will come round full circle in the end.
  3. The student with the answer then reads his/her card aloud.
  4. Play repeats until all of the cards have been read and circles back around to the first student. 
When using this structure, you do need a set of cards that are specific to this game. While the structure lends itself to many different skills, the materials you use will need to be specifically designed to be able to play this game.  That is, using a set of task cards, or flash cards, won't really work.  But, don't fret, you can find lots of these sets on TPT, and you can also make your own.

You can grab this plural noun I Have, Who Has for FREE!  Click here to grab your set.  :)

Tip #1: Laminate your I Have, Who Has cards for durability and reuse.  After all, lamination is forever.  Hehe.

Tip #2: Use the same set of I Have, Who Has cards more than once during the year.  It's likely that your students will end up with different cards each time you play, and since it's a fast paced game and takes only minutes to play (5-10 minutes), it's a great way to review important skills.  I keep a few sets of cards, including this one, and the one above, on my desk so that we can play whenever we have time to spare.

Tip #3: When a student is ready to read his/her card, let him/her stand up when reading aloud.  You could even let them use silly voices, if you're feeling brave that day.

Tip #4: Let students read their cards while speaking into the classroom microphone (if you have one, of course).  We have voice enhancement systems, AKA microphones, so when we play this game, I have the students raise their hand when they are ready to read their card and I bring the microphone to them so they can do so.

Tip #5: What makes this activity engaging is the fact that students have to be attentive listeners and be cognizant of the information contained on their card.  If they aren't paying attention, it disrupts the flow of the game. And, nobody wants to be that person.

However, once a student reads their card, it is possible that they will begin tune out. But, you can help to eliminate that by adding an accountability component.  Each time a student asks a question, have ALL of your students write the answer on their personal whiteboards, or on a piece of scratch paper.  This will slow the game down a bit, but it holds ALL the students accountable throughout the ENTIRE game.

Final Note
I've had so much fun talking shop with you over the past four weeks.  Truly.  Engagement structures have been, and continue to be, a vital part of my teaching repertoire.  I'm not exaggerating when I say that I really don't know what I'd do without them.  I truly hope that you were able to learn a new strategy, or at least walk away with a new tip or two.

Want to make sure that you remember these tips and tricks?  Then pin away!


Student Engagement I Have Who Has

Missed the first three posts? Well, don't you worry, simply click on the links to the posts you missed.  Easy peasy.

Part 1: I Spy

Part 2: Scoot

Part 3: Quiz-Quiz-Trade

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  1. I'm do a campus presentation on student engagement this Thursday. I created a flier to handout to my co-workers that refers them to this series. Thank you so much for your hard work in compiling and explaining a great list of strategies. Ohh...and for the freebie!!!!

    1. Oh my goodness, I am so flattered. Thank you so much for sharing this content with your co-workers! I hope they enjoy the series and can take away a few tips and tricks. I appreciate you taking the time to visit each week. And, you are most welcome for the freebie. Enjoy! :)


  2. Aimee, I loved this four part series!!! Thanks so much for sharing! I will be sharing this with my second grade group for sure this coming year. I wish we could work together! Lynn

    1. Aw, thank you so much, Lynn! It makes me so happy to hear this. I hope that your second grade group find the information helpful!



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