Co-operation behavours

An activity for learning how to cooperate efficiently.

The purpose is to learn to find and recognize different approaches to cooperate efficiently. For the activity to work, the students must share information and work like a team. The activity can be used before a larger group work to create an understanding for cooperation.

Present the purpose to the students.
To work well you must work together! Surely, everyone has been in a group where the cooperation has not been successful. In this activity, the main focus is to learn strategies to make the cooperation in the group efficient.

Ask the students to list key words related to a successful cooperation. What is there to think about when working in a team? Summarize and choose the five most important words from the group’s suggestion.

Divide the students into groups of 5. One of the participants is appointed to observer. This person should take notes on the behaviours that are contributing to a successful cooperation, and the behaviours that make the group work less efficient.

Each team is handed a pile of newspaper and a roll of masking tape. Their task is to build a bridge. The bridge is supposed to be 30 cm high and 30 cm long and it should be strong enough to bear a hardback book. The students have 10 minutes to finish the task.

When the time is up, the groups get to show their bridges and the observer gets to present what worked well, and not so well, in each group. Is it possible to reflect the observations in the outcome of the bridge? Would the group do anything different if given the task again?

Discuss what behaviours contributed to an efficient work, and what behaviours that did not. Hand out copy sheet 5 and discuss which of the described behaviours that were included in the bridge-building. Also, discuss which behaviours who were not. Compare to the key-words. Do they match?

The groups that collaborate well create a safe and comfortable environment which encourages everyone to share ideas, become committed and wanting to collaborate.

The activity can be carried out before a large group work to create awareness. It can also be carried out as a fun and challenging cooperation exercise.

How this resource relates to Shaping Characters objectives

  • Attitudes and attributes
  • Innovative approach
  • Motivation and resilience

Resources required

Newspaper, scissors and masking tape. Classrooms or a similar room. A person who instructs and leads the activity.

Time needed

Preparation: 10 minutes
Carrying through: 30-60 minutes

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