A 2nd Grade Lesson on Working Together

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No matter how old we get, there is always a chance that we will have to work with or be around someone that we just don’t like very much. Even as an adult, that can be difficult to navigate. That’s why I make sure to implement classroom lessons on group work and working well with others beginning in 2nd grade, so that children can start to learn at a young age how to handle a situation they are likely to face in middle school, high school, college, and in the workforce: dealing with people they dislike.

Today I will share a lesson I created for my 2nd grade students to introduce the concept of working together. I will also be posting links to some of my favorite group work lessons from other blogs that I use with my middle school students!


 

I begin my group work activity by dividing the students into groups. For this lesson, I make the groups uneven, so one group may only have 2 members and another may have 8. Each group is given a container of extremely random supplies, such as play-doh, empty quarter rolls, foam pages, streamers, and toilet paper rolls. The groups all have 15 minutes to create anything with their supplies, but they must use EVERYTHING in the container or they are disqualified. After explaining the rules, I set the timer and let them work.

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When time is up, we process the activity as a class. I ask the students about the different group sizes and how that impacted their ability to work together {i.e. small groups had less ideas they had to choose from, but large groups had more people to actually put together their creations}, and we relate this back to both school projects and groups of friends. I also ask students what they think their group did well and what their group needed to work on. It seemed that most of the issues stemmed from the way the students were communicating with each other {go figure}, so we also review good communication skills. To wrap up the discussion, we talk about how to work in a group when there is a group member that they don’t get along with, and how to be nice to someone they don’t like {even outside of group work}.

I was extremely proud of my 2nd graders for being so thoughtful in our discussion. They really did a great job connecting the meaning to the activity.

To make it extra fun, I told the students that I would be showing all of the middle school teachers photos of the creations and that they would vote on their favorites. The winning team members got certificates, and they were beyond excited. Check out some of my favorites below:

 

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Here are a few other other group work/team work lessons that I implement with my students in the middle grades:

The Marshmallow Challenge from Exploring School Counseling

Saving Sam from All for the Love of Teaching

The Cup Stack Challenge from Ms. Sepp’s Counselor Corner


 

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