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5th & 6th Teamwork Lesson

This lesson was developed as part of a team project in my graduate studies and has been done in middle school classrooms.

Grade Level:           5th & 6th Grades


Topic:                          Teamwork


Materials:               Multi-colored markers

Poster board






Objectives:                1.   Students will combine all team members’ ideas to form one whole

picture for the group

2.      Students will use classroom rules, such as taking turns, in order to

complete the task

                             3.   Students will recognize their role within the larger group


Activities:               1. Introduction

As students are coming into the room, have pictures of teams that are relevant to the students (local sports teams, choirs, professional sports teams, group activities from the school, etc.) rotate on a slideshow in the front of the classroom.  Once students are seated and the lesson has begun, bring their attention to the photos by saying something like, “What do these pictures have in common?”, “Have you ever been on a team like any of these?”, etc.  Then, ask questions more specifically addressing teamwork, such as, “Can anyone tell me what teamwork means?”  Write student responses to these questions on the chalkboard.  Transition into the main activity by saying something like, “Today we’re going to learn how important teamwork and working together towards a common goal is”.


                             2. Team Drawing Activity

Have students count off by 4’s (or whatever number would ensure that all groups remain small, but have about the same number of group members).

Assign locations of the room for each group, making sure to give them all plenty of room to spread out and do their poster.  If there are teams that need special accommodations (i.e. if one of the group members cannot get down on the floor to draw) make sure that there is a large table for that group to use.  Have counselors/teachers pass out one sheet of poster board to each group and one marker to each group member.  Be sure that each student in a group has a different color marker, and that the colors they are given can be used for a variety of scenes, as to not limit any students’ participation.  Have teacher give directions for the activity, saying something like, “Today we are going to work in teams to draw a picture.  As a group, come up with some theme or scene for your picture.  Be sure to listen to everyone’s ideas before you start drawing.  You may notice that each student in your group has a different color marker.  You must keep and use only the marker you were given during this activity.  No switching colors with your teammates!  Try to use up as much of the poster board as you can with everyone’s color.  You have 20 minutes to come up with an idea and draw your picture.  Remember – use only the color that was given to you.  No switching!  Ready?  Go!”  During the activity, have counselors/teachers walk around to the different groups to assess if students are on task, using teamwork, and listening to directions (i.e. not sharing markers, etc.)  After 15 minutes have passed, let the students know that they only have five minutes left to complete their pictures before they present them to the rest of the class.


3. Discussion

When the 20 minutes is up, call all the students to attention and ask them to get back in their seats.  Explain to students that each group will now present their posters to the rest of the class.  Say something like, “Each group will now show their poster to the rest of the class.  A student volunteer from the group will tell us what their scene or picture is and how they came up with their idea as a group.  Can the 1’s group come up first?  And raise your hand to volunteer to speak for the group.” Once the students are in the front of the room, pick one of the volunteers to present on their poster.  While groups are presenting, look to make sure that all students’ colors are on the poster and that they have all contributed pretty much equally.  Leave all the posters in the front of the room for display.


4. Conclusion

                             Put the pictures of teams from the introduction back on the screen.  After the given
                             time period, or when it appears that all students are one with the self-evaluation,
                             redirect their attention to the photos by saying something like, Remember these
                             pictures of teams from the beginning of class?  Thinking about the way you all
                             worked as a team today, what do you think make the people in these pictures
                             good team members?”  Listen to student responses until the end of the class
                             period.  Once the bell has rung, say something like, “You guys have really showed
                             us that you all learned a lot today about teamwork and being part of a team. 
                             Great job!  Enjoy the rest of your day!”