Drill 5: Together is Better!

7 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT understand the meaning of synergize to work together in groups.

Big Idea

"I get by with a little help from my friends."- Beatles


In our school, we follow the Leader In Me philosophy. This is based on the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Habit 6 is synergizing, so I usually throw this lesson in to discuss how we work in small groups in ELA. 


5 minutes

I'm going to show the kids a series of clips to get them talking. The minions are up first, and then a really cool marching band set

What are these clips trying to tell you? Talk with your table partners about what you saw and what it means to you. 

The kiddos will get a minute to discuss and I'm hoping they notice things like working together.. I'm also hoping they see that some things cannot be done unless everyone is working toward a common goal. These are things that cannot be done alone. 

Then I want the kids to look at this picture and think about what the quote means. From here we'll jump into the lesson. 

Group Challenge

30 minutes

I found this amazing team work activity from Christy Brown at her blog. Basically the students work in groups to stack and unstack some solo cups using nontraditional methods that require some great teamwork. 

I want to pose the problem as such: 

Do you solve your own problems? Do your parents help you solve your problems? How would you solve a problem if you couldn't use what is comfortable to you? Today I have some cups that I need you to unstack, and then place into a pyramid. Sound easy? The only catch is you can't touch the cups with any body part. Now what?

Before I set the kids to work, I want them to tell me how they think they could do this. I don't even want them to know i have materials yet. Once they discuss in groups and share ideas, I'll break them into groups and let them know I do have some materials they can use. At this point, I'll follow the blog instructions as stated. Four roles, materials collector 1 and 2, starter and reporter. Once they get started, I'll just roam around snapping pictures and watching how teams work together. Here's a bit of what I saw.

Once teams have finished up, I want the kiddos to reflect on the activity.

So what does this have to do with reading and writing? Why do I care if you can work in teams?

Hopefully, they get to the idea that they'll be working in groups a lot this year and we all need to work together to become better readers this year. 

Most times in reading and writing, we'll be in small groups and sometimes you'll be running your own independent stations. I need to know that you can work together to solve whatever problems arise. There are times when I need to work with a small group and we can't be distracted, so it will be up to your groups to complete my tasks and meet my expectations. Keep this activity in mind. With kiddos like you, anything is possible!