In this first week of our new school year we have been focusing on community building . We asked the question "what is a group?" One of our friends told us , "a group is people who stay together." We had a great classroom discussion about working together as a group. We asked if anyone knew what the word cooperation meant and quickly a friend told us, " it means working together to build something." In the coming weeks we will be doing activities and having conversations that will continue to explore this topic.
This was an activity that the seniors of our class participated in. We split the children into small groups and asked them to work together to make paper chains. They started out each doing a different job, drawing lines, cutting and gluing together. After a bit of adjustment everyone seemed to find the job that suited them best. Leaders seemed to emerge and they were encouraged to help others.
In the end the children measured each teams chain side by side and counted the links in each teams chain. They determined which team had the longest and which team had the shortest chain. After counting they talked about which team had the most links in their chains and which had the least. Competition was downplayed and was never the focus for this activity, instead we had great conversation about cooperation and the importance of good communication when working together in a group.
In the end the children were encouraged to link all the chains together creating one long chain. Everyone was extremely proud of their teamwork and their creation.