Teaching Students to Work Cooperatively


Today’s world is one of instantaneous inter-connectivity. Working collaboratively is an essential skill that must be taught, nourished and fostered in order to succeed in such an environment.


Working as a team does not come naturally to an egocentric kindergartner. It is something that must be taught and practiced. Intentional teamwork activities allow students to work together for a shared benefit. Such activities will not only provide collaborative experiences, they will build many other social and emotional aspects of a student's self including:  Self-management, social awareness, self-awareness, responsibility, decision making, caring about others, contributing, relationship skills, and more.

Today we had a lesson on teamwork. After learning the vocabulary words opinion and decision, we did some role-playing that provided opportunities for students to practice coming to a group consensus.  We then read the book “What’s The Big Idea Molly?

Next I divided the class into groups and asked the groups to each make an animal that lives in the jungle.  I then reminded the students to listen to each other’s opinions and decide how they would construct the animal.


At the conclusion of the activity we had a debriefing. I asked the students what types of strategies their group used to complete the animal.  I listed their responses on a chart.

This was a great activity. And only one child cried! He was pretty mad that his group made the lion a girl lion instead of a boy. This was a great opportunity to talk about consensus. Even though it was not his opinion, he could support the group decision. And, everyone loved the finished product!


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