Have you ever found yourself in a situation, where you are trying to get a task done for a long time but to no success? Then, you decided to take input from some of your friends or peers, and voila!! Your combined efforts and inputs led to the successful completion of tasks in moments, saving you from a breached deadline. That is the power of teamwork.
Effectively working in a team is a highly necessary skill that is valued for life. This skill is first taught to kids at a very young age, generally in schools and at home. Familiarizing kids with concepts like collaborating and cooperating with others is crucial to getting tasks done and helping them hone important interpersonal skills, necessary for a successful future.
To introduce the concept of teamwork to kids, we have discussed a comprehensive teamwork lesson plan in this post, that is fun and light-hearted and a perfect start to cultivate the spirit of teamwork in kids.
Before moving to the lesson plan, let’s uncover some of the benefits of teamwork.
Importance of teamwork for kids
Collaboration and effective communication are essential life skills and teaching children the art of working together not only promotes social development but also equips them with invaluable tools for success in their personal and professional lives. Some other reasons that make teamwork important for children include:
- Teamwork promotes social skills in the little kids and teaches them the value of effective social interactions.
- Working in a team improves the communication skills of the kids and helps them effectively share their ideas and thoughts.
- Teamwork fosters healthy and positive relationships among individuals.
- Engaging in teamwork activities is a great way to teach kids problem-solving and decision-making skills.
- It leads to personal growth as well as the team as a whole.
- Teamwork also cultivates leadership skills.
- It helps to view things from other people’s perspectives and learn from other’s opinions and beliefs.
- Teamwork improves brainstorming skills and helps to reach meaningful conclusions.
What’s included in a teamwork lesson plan?
This is an elaborative lesson plan to familiarize kids with the importance of teamwork and collaboration. It is designed in such a way that after the lesson plan is completed, kids will be able to effectively implement the skills required for teamwork in their day-to-day lives.
It is a wonderful medium to embark on a journey of one of the most important life skills, called teamwork. The objectives of the lesson plan include-
- To help kids develop the skill of working in a group setting.
- To help them develop confidence in sharing ideas and opinions in group settings.
- To help them develop trust for team members.
The lesson plan begins with a brain-storming activity or game, which can also be used as an ice-breaker game to make kids comfortable with their surroundings and further activities.
In this activity, kids will learn the importance of trust when working in a team and how challenging tasks can be solved when done in collaboration. Here, 4 to 5 children will hold each other’s hands and will form a circle. Now, they will cross their both arms without breaking the initial hold. It will lead them to change their position. Finally, without breaking the hold, ask the children to return to their original position. The game is known as ‘human knot’.
As an educator, you can impose a time limit on the game to make it more thrilling and fun. The discussion is a vital component of the game for kids to understand the reasons behind the activity.
Activity 1: Talent Hunt
Pre-requisites: List of talents, phone/cameras, and two groups.
For this activity, make a group of at least 5-10 children and provide them with a list of talents. Let the group members go through the list and identify which task can be done by which member. After that, beginning from the top, kids have to perform every talent written on the list and the whole performed list will be recorded using a camera or a mobile. It is a great activity to enhance team cohesion and boost trust among the team members.
Activity 2: Collage Making
Prerequisite: chart paper/ drawing sheet, old magazines/ newspaper.
In this activity, participants will have to make a collage based on the theme that best represents every member of the group. Children can have picture cutouts from newspapers or magazines and make a collage out of them. This activity can be done in one large group or the teacher can make several groups as the student’s strength and convenience allows. This activity will improve some of the crucial teamwork skills, such as decision-making, effective communication, and problem-solving, and will teach kids the value of trust while working in a team.
Strategies to foster the spirit of teamwork in children
Teamwork is not a theoretical concept that is taught to kids and they will memorize it. Rather, it is a skill that is honed over years and benefits the individual for a lifetime. Some strategies to foster the spirit of teamwork in children are-
I. At School
1. Group Reading
It is a simple yet effective strategy to reinforce team spirit in children and educate them on how to effectively work in a team. Teachers can make a group of 3-5 children and use shared reading books to have children read effectively in the group settings.
2. Science experiments
Group science experiments are an effective means to teach problem-solving and decision-making in group settings. Teachers can again make a group of 3-5 children and provide them with any science experiment, such as energy activities, and let children brainstorm on its execution and implementation and come to conclusions. Successful completion of the activity will result in enhanced self-esteem, on an individual level and the group level.
3. Group sports
Group sports are a wonderful example of ‘teams that stick together, win together’. Group sports, such as basketball, football, cricket, etc. will teach kids how to effectively work in a team and have respectful and trustworthy relationships with other team members.
4. Group Debate competition.
In group debates, teachers can form two groups, one for the motion and one against it. Each group can have 3-5 members who will sophisticatedly put forward their ideas and opinions and will try to win the debate competition. Alternatively, teachers can plan interactive group discussions with creative group discussion topics to promote teamwork. It will teach them effective group functioning and the crux of healthy competition.
5. Group Projects
Teachers can provide group projects or class assignments in groups, either over vacation or for class only to enhance the team spirit in the kids. Projects can be as simple as making a model for a Geography class or as complex as writing a novel based on every team member, the only condition is that it should be in a group.
II. At Home
1. Baking with siblings
A fun and light-hearted task that kids can easily perform at home. Kids can bake their favorite cookies or cakes in collaboration with their siblings or parents and can enjoy a fun evening with their favorite snacks. It will teach kids problem-solving and the importance of effective communication to get things done.
2. Board games
Board games are great for fostering and enhancing both individual achievements and group achievements. It teaches little kids the importance of patience, cooperation, and collaboration. Parents can plan a game night with family and play various board games, based on different themes, such as math, wh-questions, etc., to have fun, teach kids important skills, and enhance their knowledge base.
3. Group dance, songs, or acts for family meet-ups
Parents can encourage their kids to prepare a group dance, song, or some play with their siblings or cousins for family meet-ups. It will be a great way to have fun and teach kids some important skills related to group work.
Teaching children with a lesson plan is a great way to ensure that lessons are imparted systematically and efficiently. The fun and creative activities in the lesson plan will have kids remember the core concepts precisely and over time, they will master the practical applications too.
In addition to building team spirit, the teamwork lesson plan is a great tool to foster skills like empathy, social skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills, and whatnot. Educators can add or modify the teamwork activities according to their requirements and can plan a fun lesson for the students.
I am Sehjal Goel, a psychology student, and a writer. I am currently pursuing my Masters’s from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. Child psychology has always fascinated me and I have a deep interest in learning about disabilities in children and spreading awareness regarding the same. My other areas of interest are neuropsychology and cognitive psychology. Connect me on Linkedin