Social Studies Activity
This activity will give students the opportunity to consider what
is involved in cooperative efforts and why real teamwork can be
very effective. As a result, they may be able to offer suggestions
for improving cooperation in their own classroom.
WHAT YOU NEED
- Large paper or poster board
- Felt-tip marker
WHAT TO DO
- With the class, develop a definition for the term "teamwork."
The definition should include the kinds of behavior and attitudes
that go into effective teamwork. Write the definition at the top
of the large paper or poster board.
- Divide students into small groups and have each one come up
with a list of community activities that would involve teamwork.
To get students going, suggest that they think of different places
they have been in the last week where they might have observed
teamwork in action. Some examples might be at school, home, the
dentist's office, the supermarket, and soccer practice. Ask what
activities in all these places suggested that good teamwork was
(or perhaps wasn't) happening.
- Bring the class back together and ask volunteers to suggest
examples and descriptions of the teamwork they observed. Enter
these observations under the class definition of teamwork. They
might include such examples as the team effort required to put
together and distribute a school lunch; the way work is divided
among cashiers, shelf stockers, baggers, and others in a
supermarket; the way the soccer coach and a team of players at
different positions fought their way to victory.
- Circle key words and phrases that appear frequently or ask
students to suggest descriptive words based on their
observations. Examples might include concepts of cooperation,
working together, planning, listening, and practicing together.
- Ask students if they would like add any of these ideas to their
definition of teamwork and then amend the definition accordingly.
- Have students think about the groups they just worked in. Were
the qualities mentioned in their definition evident in the way
their groups worked together? How might they change things the
next time they work together?
- Using students' responses along with the definition they
generated, develop a list of guidelines for effective teamwork in
the classroom. Post these where everyone can see them and
review them occasionally.
- Keep the list of guidelines up to date by asking for students'
feedback after they've been engaged in cooperative efforts.
- Ask students for suggestions about jobs that they might get
involved in around the school or in the community such as,
collecting recyclables and planting flowers. Guide their
enthusiasm by helping them form teams and apply their guidelines
to getting the job done.
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