Teaching Teamwork to Elementary Students in 2024

If you are an elementary teacher looking to learn how to help your students work together as a team, then you found the right place! Teamwork skills prepare kids to face dilemmas and solve problems together. Students who have teamwork skills are better friends than students who cannot. In this post, we’ll go into detail about what self teamwork is and why it’s important. In addition, we’ll share tips and ideas for teaching teamwork skills in an elementary classroom setting. Read all about helping students be a good teammate in and out of the classroom below!

teamwork word search and writing activities

What Does Teamwork Mean?

Teamwork means working together with a diverse group of people towards reaching a common goal. Members of a team are able to negotiate conflict constructively, listen actively and clearly communicate ideas, cooperate with others, and seek and offer help when needed. 

Why is it Important for Kids to Collaborate?

It is important for kids to collaborate on a team because it helps them recognize and understand each other’s strengths, interests, and abilities. It helps them learn how to work with other people and how to negotiate interactions with other people.

teamwork writing activities, sorting activity, and word search

How Do I Know If I Need to Teach Teamwork in My Classroom?

The students in your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th grade classroom would benefit from teamwork lessons and activities if any of these statements are true:

  • Students struggle to do projects together.
  • The same people are in charge over and over.
  • Recess has become challenging.
  • Students have a hard time sitting in table groups.
  • Students have a hard time playing games together.
teamwork sorting activity, choice board, and flip book
teamwork word search and writing activities

5 Reasons To Promote Teamwork In Your Elementary Classroom

Below are 5 reasons to promote teamwork in your elementary classroom.

1. Teamwork is an important life skill

The sooner that students learn teamwork skills the better, because teamwork is an important life skill. Students will constantly be put in situations where they have to work as a team throughout their life. There will also be times when students want to work by themselves but have to work as a team, or they are on a team they don’t want to be on. Students need to learn the skills to persevere and still be a good teammate. 

2. Teamwork helps students learn problem solving skills 

Students will face a variety of problems in their lives, some that they can solve independently and some that need to be solved as a team. Students will learn the problem solving skills essential for working on a team and problem solving as a team. They will learn problem solving skills like using effective communication and listening and being a fair team member. 

3. Teamwork teaches effective communication

Being part of a team means communicating your ideas, thoughts and concerns effectively and respectively. Through students learning teamwork skills, they will naturally be practicing their communication skills. Role play scenarios can be helpful in developing both teamwork and communication skills. 

teamwork writing activities

4. Working as a team helps students develop listening skills 

Students will develop listening skills while working as a team. They have to hear their teammates’ ideas and actively listen and respond to them. In order to be a good team member, they have to make sure their teammates feel listened to and respected. 

5. Teamwork skills will help your classroom community grow 

Your classroom community will become more positive than ever when you teach your students teamwork skills. Your kids will understand the importance of working together respectfully and sharing ideas with each other. With effective communication and active listening in the mix, your classroom community will be thriving. 

teamwork task cards, choice board, and writing activities
teamwork coloring page, looks like sounds like chart, and choice board

5 Tips and Ideas for Teaching Teamwork

Check out the tips and ideas for teaching teamwork below!

1. Read Aloud Picture Books about Teamwork 

Picture books are a great way to introduce and teach an SEL topic. It gets students thinking about the topic and activating their background knowledge. Check out this list of picture books for teaching teamwork!

2. Watch Videos about Teamwork

There are tons of free online videos out there that promote social emotional learning. It’s a fun and engaging way to teach SEL skills that your students will enjoy. Check out these videos for teaching teamwork!

teamwork writing activity

Vocabulary words can help students develop understanding of teamwork and create connections through related words. Our teamwork SEL unit includes ten vocabulary cards with words related to the SEL topic. It is important for students to be able to see, hear, and use relevant vocabulary while learning. One idea for how to use them is to create an SEL word wall as students learn the words.

4. Provide Practice Opportunities

When learning any skill, students need time to practice. Social emotional learning skills are no different! Our teamwork SEL unit includes scenario cards, discussion cards, choice boards, games, and much more. These provide students with opportunities to practice the skills independently, with partners or small groups, or as a whole class.

5. Integrate Other Content Areas

Integrating other content areas with this topic is a great way to approach this SEL topic. Our teamwork SEL unit includes reading, writing, and art activities.

teamwork coloring page and writing activities
teamwork choice board, word search, acrostic poem, and writing activities

Skills Related to Teamwork

Teamwork, in the context of social emotional learning (SEL) or character education, refers to the collaborative effort and cooperation of individuals working together towards a common goal. While “teamwork” is the commonly used term, there are other words and phrases that can convey a similar meaning. These alternative words highlight different aspects of collaboration, cooperation, and working together as a cohesive unit. Here are some other words used in the context of teamwork:

  1. Collaboration: Working together with others to achieve a shared objective or outcome.
  2. Cooperation: Engaging in joint efforts, sharing responsibilities, and supporting one another to accomplish a task.
  3. Synergy: The combined effort of a group that produces a result greater than the sum of individual contributions.
  4. Partnership: A collaborative relationship where individuals come together to achieve a common goal.
  5. Collective effort: The combined work and contribution of a group towards a shared objective.
  6. Unity: The state of being together and working in harmony towards a shared purpose or goal.
  7. Cohesion: The sense of togetherness, solidarity, and integration within a group or team.
  8. Joint endeavor: Collaborating and pooling resources and expertise to accomplish a task or project.
  9. Mutual support: Providing assistance, encouragement, and help to one another within a team or group.
  10. Synchronization: The act of coordinating actions and efforts in order to work together effectively towards a common objective.

These terms encompass the concept of teamwork and reflect the qualities of collaboration, cooperation, and collective effort within the context of social emotional learning (SEL) or character education.

teamwork writing activities and scenario task cards

Download the SEL Activities

Click an image below to either get this individual teamwork unit or get ALL 30 SEL units!

Teamwork SEL Unit Social Emotional Learning Units Bundle
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In closing, we hope you found this information about teaching teamwork helpful! If you did, then you may also be interested in these posts.

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