Cooperation Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Using games and activities are great ways to teach pro-social behaviors. This lesson plan gives you several ides to instruct and reinforce concepts of cooperation for elementary students.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to do the following:

  • define cooperation
  • explain methods to be cooperative in a group


40-50 minute lessons


  • Numbered index cards, one for each student in your class
  • Hula hoops
  • Long jumping rope
  • File folders, one for each student

Key Vocabulary

  • Cooperation

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.1

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.1

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Warm-Up and Preparation

Direct Instruction

  • Gather students together and tell them they will be completing the task of lining up in order.
  • Explain that each student will receive a numbered card that they must not look at until you say.
  • On your go, students should look at their cards and form a line according to the numbers. Tell students they must complete this task without talking.
  • Tell students to go and allow them to complete the task, timing them as they do so.
  • When finished, tell them their time and ask the following:
    • What strategies did you use to accomplish the task?
    • What was challenging about not being able to communicate?
  • Explain what the term 'cooperation' means and ask students to share how they used cooperation skills to complete the task.
  • Now challenge students to repeat the task with a faster time. Collect and redistribute the cards, then give the signal to go, again timing students.
  • When finished, discuss whether the second time was easier or harder and why. How did students use cooperation skills? Why is cooperation important? When else do we need to use cooperation skills?

Hula Hoop Tangle

  • Break students into groups of about ten students.
  • Have each group form a circle holding hands.
  • Break the bond between two students and insert the hoop over one of their arms, then have them hold hands again so the hoop is now part of the human chain.
  • Tell students they need to move the hula hoop around the circle without breaking their chain. Students will need to work together to maneuver the hoop around bodies.
  • Make the game competitive by having groups race against one another.
  • After completion, discuss methods of cooperation used.
  • Play again as a whole group. Challenge by blindfolding all students or not allowing the hoop to hit the floor.

Cooperation Jump

  • Find two older students or parents who are able to be rope turners for this activity.
  • Gather students together outside or in the gym and have the rope turners turn the rope.
  • Allow students to practice running into the rope, jumping once, and running out.
  • After practice, divide students into partners and explain that each pair must run in together, jump once, then run out.
  • Give partners time to strategize and discuss cooperation methods, then start the task.
  • When all twosomes have completed the task, make groups of four, then six.
  • Students will need to cooperate and discuss new strategies for each new round as more students are added to the task.

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