Let’s Go Team!

Let’s Go Team!

What are some learning opportunities for groups?  Take a look at this list and you can probably find at least five activities you could adapt for your students’ age, interests, and standards.

Write a Song, Rap, or Poem
Have students collaborate to write a song, rap, or poem.  Encourage groups to practice and then perform for classmates.
Tie these in with national holidays, seasons, special events, or literature.
Acrostics work well for this.

Visual Graphics
Have teams use webs, T-Charts, Venn diagrams, and other graphic organizers to explore themes, books, compare/contrast, and so forth.

Themes, literature, math concepts and almost anything you are studying can spark brainstorming with a small group.
Let students brainstorm how to handle common classroom problems like students who break in line.  Brainstorm what to do with broken crayons. 
Brainstorm what to do instead of playing a video game.
Put big sheets of paper on a wall to use for brainstorming.

KWL – Know, Want to Know, Learned
When introducing a new theme or concept let groups make a list about what they already know about the topic and what they want to learn about the topic.  During the study they can be encouraged to write what they are learning.

See What You Can Find Out -
When starting a new unit, select several books from the library on the topic.  Give each group a book and ask them what they can find out in five minutes.  Let one person from each group report to the class.
Ask groups to trade books and see what else they can find out.

WWW Research
Assign students a topic to research together on the internet.  They can write and report findings to classmates.

Groups can use technology to take photos, make movies, powerpoints, post blogs, and other projects.

Give groups common objects such as a rubber band, safety pin, straw, etc. and challenge them to come up with as many different uses for the object as they can.

Give groups paper and challenge them to create a paper airplane.  Go outside and test airplanes to see which one flies the best.
They could also design boats or other simple machines.
In March it would be fun to make a leprechaun trap!

Let groups collect recycled materials (cereal boxes, paper towel rolls, etc.)
Can they invent something new?

Dealer’s Choice
Give teams a deck of cards and ask them to create a new game.

Game Makers
Download blank game boards from the internet and let groups make up original games.  They will need to decorate the game board, come up with pieces, and write the rules.
These could be focused around a skill or unit.

Book Talks
Give groups study questions to guide them in talking about books they have read.
Have them critique books.  What did you like?  Dislike?

Read and Pass
Teams form a small circle facing each other.  One child begins reading and then passes the book to the person on her right.  Students continue reading and passing the book around the circle.
Limit reading to one sentence each, one paragraph, or one page.

Word Games
Give a vocabulary word to each group.   How many smaller words can they write using the letters in the vocabulary word?

Give teams a letter, word family, prefix, etc. and have them write or draw all the things they can imagine.

Make Lists
Teams can make lists of how to be a buddy, how to be a good student, what to do when they are bored, what they like best about school, and so forth.

Book Makers
Give students and topic and then ask them to make a book about it.  Be sure they sign their names as “authors and illustrators.” 
Have an “authors’ party” where groups read their books to classmates.

Take Turns Writing
Give each group a sheet of paper and one pencil.  They can take turns writing with the pencil while others share their thoughts.
This can be adapted for opinion, narratives, or informative writing.

Letter Writing
Write letters as a group to politicians, authors, or other famous people.
They could also send emails from their group.

Cards and Thank You’s
Teams can work together to create get well cards, thank you notes, and other greetings.

Have teams write all the combinations for a different number.
Make a list of things that are a 2-D or 3-D shape.
Look around the room and make a list of all the things that have numbers.

Survey Says
Let children work in groups to collect data. 
They can also work as a group to do interviews.

Pass It on Picture
Groups sit in a circle and each member is given one color of crayon and a sheet of paper.  The children begin drawing a picture.  When the teacher rings a bell, they must pass their picture to the person on their right.  The children continue drawing and passing pictures until it ends up to where it originated.
You can do the same thing with colored pencils and story writing.

Groups can make posters about drug awareness, nutrition, or other health issues and post them around the school.

Ask a team to read the same book and then create an advertisement about their book.  They could make a poster, original slogan, etc. and present to classmates.

Groups can build things with blocks, Legos, and other construction materials. 
Tie in with math.  How many squares, rectangles, etc. did you use?
Relate to a unit of study.  For example, make a dwelling the Native Americans of the Southwest would have had or make a home for a panda.

Have groups make decorations for holidays and special school events.

Group Art Projects 
Children can add individual components to make a thing of beauty.  They can make a quilt where each child is given a 6” square.  After decorating their square punch holes in the corners and tie them together with yarn to make a quilt. 

Groups can also make anchor charts, murals, collages, paintings, flags, sculptures, and so forth.

Groups can do science experiments, gather data, record observations, and report findings to classmates.

Outdoor Explorations
Nature is always a breath of fresh air for creative thought.  Children can do observations, collect data, sing songs, or go on scavenger hunts.

Wants and Needs
Have groups make a T-chart of “wants” and “needs.” Tell groups that they are going on a wagon train west.  Ask them to make a list of all the supplies they will need.  (You could adapt this to a new colony on Mars or some other science fiction theme.)

Give groups a category (fruits, mammals, professions, games, etc.) and have them write/draw all the things they can think of for that category.

Question of the Day
Write a thought-provoking question on the board each day.  Let children discuss answers in a group and then listen as each group reports their thoughts.

Opinion Groups
The teacher poses a controversial issue to the class. Students work in teams to discuss the issue and then share with other groups.

Review Questions
Give groups of students review questions to discuss and answer. 
You could also ask groups to write review questions.

Puppet Show
Let students make puppets from lunch sacks, paper plates, or other art materials. 
Ask them to write and perform puppet shows for the class. 
Coordinate puppet shows with books read, units of study, social situations, etc.

Pantomime and Charades
Groups can pantomime books, songs, poems, and other themes while classmates try to guess what they are.

Skit or Play
Have teams create (and write) skits and plays to reinforce a unit or theme.  They can make masks, costumes, or other props for presentations to the class.

Challenge groups to create a human statue that depicts something from a favorite book.  Groups make their statues and their classmates have to discover which book they are performing.
Use songs, poems, or other themes for statues.

Clean Up
Assign groups responsibility for different areas and different jobs in the classroom.  You could have a “library committee,” “sanitation team,” “neat squad,” “green team,” and other catchy team names.

Next Page