This week in kindergarten we read The Crayon Box That Talked written by Shane Derolf. In the story the crayons are having a difficult time getting along and they say some pretty unkind things to each other. A young girl buys the unhappy box and takes them home with her, eventually showing them that when they work together and get along they create some pretty amazing things. This book was a great springboard for our activities on teamwork.
The first activity we did was the hula hoop pass. I asked students to stand in a circle holding hands. The goal of the activity was to get the hula hoop all the way around the circle without letting go of each others hands. After we accomplished this the first time, I asked students what helped them to be successful. We talked about which strategies helped them get through the hoop faster. Then I posed a second challenge for them. We were going to do it again, but this time we were going to pass the hoop in the opposite direction and try to beat our first time.
The second activity we did was a collaborative drawing. I told students that each group would only get one large piece of paper to create a picture. Everyone had to participate and have input on the drawing. I explained what cooperation and collaboration meant, and many students decided they would make a plan before they started drawing.
Now this did not happen without some conflict and compromising! I circulated around the room to facilitate conflict resolution and touch base with their feelings when I noticed frustrated body language. Most groups were able to come up with an idea that everyone agreed on and had their own part. There was one unique group that came up with a plan, but only one student at a time would add their part. This group watched one person begin, then passed the paper along through them, each adding a new piece. Here were some of their final products: