ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: Life Skills Lessons: Cooperation

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Life Skills Lessons: Cooperation

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In the week since we have begun posting here on ABC and 123 we have already experienced the benefits of cooperating. There are so many fantastic ideas floating around the web and we seek to compile them as we all work together to teach the next generation of learners!

What is cooperation?
~a common effort
~working together for a common benefit
~team work
~form a common association
~to be compliant

~Cooperation promotes a good working environment, encourages peace, and advances humanity
~In order to cooperate we must first tackle our own feelings of greed or jealousy, often accompanied by wanting to achieve something by ourselves.

According to good cooperation requires: Compromise, Listening, Sharing, Encouraging, Taking Turns, and Doing Your Part.

We have compiled a collection of activities that are apporpriate for students of all ages!

Conversation Starters:
~What does the word cooperate mean to you?
~How does your family cooperate?
~What is fun about working in groups?
~What can be frustrating when working in groups?
~Tell about a time you cooperated with your friends.
~What is something you have to do to cooperate at school?
~Can you think of any examples of cooperation in nature?
~Alexander Graham Bell said, "Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds." What does that mean to you?
~When is it okay to be un-cooperative?


Ball in the Blanket
Split your group into groups of 4.
Give each person a corner of a blanket to hold
Place a ball in the center of the blanket.
On the "GO" signal ask the teams to work together to throw the ball off the blanket into the air and catch it on its' way back down.
How many successful bounces & catches can each team make?
It takes cooperation to make this happen!

Frogs on a Lily Pad
Set up 1 lily pad (carpet squares work) for each child
Start the music and ask the kids to walk around like musical chairs
When the music stops pick a pad to leap too
Start the music again, but remove a lily pad each time
Each time the music stops everyone should work together to find a lily pad to be on
As long as part of their body is touching the lily pad the "frog" is safe
No matter how many frogs end up each pad they need to work together to make room for all
As you continue playing have the frogs leap, skip, hop, and "swim" to the music.
When the music stops, how few pads can people manage to fit on if they work cooperatively?

Stand Up
Sit back to back with a partner. Link elbow and work together to stand up.
Try it again in a group of three...four...

Balloon City
Place a large number of balloons in a small area.
The challenge is to keep them all in the air any way they can without holding them.
No hands! Takes lots of cooperation!

Activities for Kids suggests several indoor and outdoor games for practicing cooperation! Many of the are quiet, as the children are not allowed to talk while they cooperate...hmmm...

Living Values Education focuses their attention on teaching cooperation to children between the ages of 8-14.

SandBox Learning has listed a collection of fun activities for teaching cooperation.

Art Projects:

Group Doodle
Give each person in the small group a piece of blank paper and doodling tools (crayons, markers, pencils) On the "Go" signal each person doodles on their own paper for 30 seconds. After the short time each person passes their paper to the person next to them. The 30 seconds begins again and this time each person adds to someone else's doodle. Continue passing around the table until the doodles return to the original artists. At the end of the circle take time to explain what they see in the group doodle and how it turned out.

Group Portrait
Learning Objective: The group will cooperate to create a "self portrait"

~crayons, markers, paint, or colored pencils
~1 piece of large white construction paper per participant

1. Begin by asking each person to fill their paper with a picture of their own face.
2. Individuals may use whatever art medium you provide to create their own face.

3. When all of the faces have been finished, collect them and cut them each into 4 equal pieces
4. Mix the pieces and work as a group to reconstruct the portraits using 4 different pieces from 4 different people.
5. Glue the 4 different pieces together on one piece of paper to create a new face.

6. While you are working on this project talk to the group about what it means to cooperate and how we all have to do our part to create something together.

Today's Giveaway:

Teach your children about the need for cooperation with this delightful version of the classic book, The Little Red Hen book and book on CD set.

You will receive one entry per comment. Please submit separate comments for each entry option you choose.

To Win:
Leave a comment - What is your favorite childhood game that requires cooperation?
Send us a submission
Become a follower
Display our button on your site
If you've posted about our site in the past week, let us know for another entry

Good Luck! We’ll announce a winner tomorrow!


  1. You have the best giveaways on here. They are so fun!

  2. We love to use a parachute which takes cooperation on all parts to make it work right.

  3. Our son is still young (15 months), but loves to unpack things. To establish a fun game with the 3+ year old in our playgroup, I like to have my little guy unpack a bag of legos and bring them one at a time to the 3 year old as he builds, or a box of trains one at a time while the 3 year old lines them up, etc. They both enjoy it and together they create something.

  4. I used to love the parachute games in Kindergarten.

  5. I am a follower (as the girl who painted trees).

  6. I am really enjoying your site and wish I had more time to check out previous posts.

  7. My favorite childhood game is wall ball and 4 square.

  8. I am a follower! And enjoying every minute!

  9. I can't for the life of me figure out how to add your button, but I added you to my bloglist on Blogger for now until I figure it out. Hope that can count as an entry...I know, I know, I won yesterday, but my daughter is head over heels in love with the Little Red Hen at the moment, so I thought I would try again.

  10. Hmm...I can't think of games I played as a child, but my sister and I would catch minnows together!

  11. I just became a follower! Found you through UBP.

  12. I finally found out how to add the button. So your button is now on my blog.

  13. Let's favorite childhood game would probably have to be kick ball. That sure requires corporation!

    I LOVE this post and I am really excited about these character building ideas!!!! Art is fun and important, but these are the things that really matter!

    As always, thank you!

  14. I posted all about your site last week! :)

  15. As a kid we would take out my Nana's big 'ol canoe which required at least two of us, working together to paddle so we could go in a straight line. We would sing a little song to keep our pace the same, making it a fun and active game each summer. Until my brother crashed it, that is.

    Your blog looks great - you are clearly putting in a lot of hard work. Great job! :)

  16. Hi Katies! I posted about your blog - I am so excited about the fun projects to try and just about the topic in general. You are both so clever and I hope I get a few of my friends to check out all of this fun content!

  17. I used to love board games - even simple ones like chutes and ladders.

  18. My students love board games. Their favorite is Candy Land.

  19. I am a follower and my kids and I love Cariboo game which requires cooperation to open a treasure box.

  20. I posted about your site yesterday exclaiming my joy over winning a giveaway!

  21. My favorite childhood game was monopoly. Not a lot of cooperation needed, really though. Thanks for participating in the UPB....glad I found you! This is my first time participating in the event, and it's been a blast getting to visit all the other sites. Swing by my site, The IE Mommy, to view my UPB post. Thanks for the fun!

  22. Hi! Looks like you have such fun here. Just party hopping.

  23. Hello there. Knocking on your door from the blog party. Hope you don’t mind.


  24. Playing games with parachutes was always a favorite! Great ideas.

  25. I joined as a follower! What great idea's and a grat giveaway!

  26. I saw your linky on the blog party!

    I have been reading your blog for awhile now and love it. I haven't had the courage yet to submit anything! lol Amazing blog though!


  27. Hey I am a student teacher and I find your activities amazing. It reminded me of an activity I used to play when I was a child we used to call it 'Simon Says' this is where one person is the leader who will tell us to do things but we must wait until he/she say 'Simon Says' before we what he/she asks.

  28. Thanks for the post. I think it would be really cool if you included a section on character ed. It would be really beneficial for the schools and parents alike to start focusing more on character traits.

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  29. Just found your site as I am was searching for a program on cooperationto use at an afterschool program. Hope this is still active and you keep updating!

  30. i have just found this website, and i going to use it for my school project... would it be possible if i have your last name so i am able to refence it
    best wishs vick