Collaboration refers to two or more people working together toward a common goal. When individuals cooperate and work side-by-side they can create something that is greater than the sum of its parts. Last week I did two blogs on things children can do with a partner. Here are ideas for small group work.
Small Groups – Cooperative work groups provide children with the opportunity to set goals, plan, communicate, problem solve, and be creative.
*It might be interesting to assign roles, such as the supervisor (leader), secretary (takes notes), and reporter (shares information), cheerleader (team member who encourages).
Hint! To enable different students to have leadership roles, you could have a “lucky draw” for these positions. Write “supervisor,” “secretary,” “reporter,” and “cheerleader” on jumbo craft sticks. Place in a can, shake, and then let team members chose a random role.
Here are a few learning opportunities for small groups:
Do a social studies or science project around an assigned theme. They could make a poster, write a report, do a skit, make a video, etc.
Brainstorm! Make lists!
Do surveys and collect data.
Write a play, story, poem, rap, or song and present it to the class.
Play a board game.
Work on a science experiment together.
Write letters to politicians, authors, or other famous people.
Make books together.
Answer questions. Teacher asks a question and they get together to come up with an answer they agree on.
Work on an invention.
Do an internet search.
How about a PowerPoint, blog, or digital photographs?
Pat on the Back – Encourage children to recognize the efforts of each member in their group. Have them stand in a circle and take turns patting each other on the back and saying a contribution each team member made.
Upper Grade Buddies - Do collaborative learning activities with different groups. Kindergarteners could be paired with 4th graders or classes on the same grade level could be partnered.