Improve life outcomes

Jumpstart: Cooperation - Universal

Jumpstart Universal SEL

CASEL Competency Focus: Relationship Skills
Time: 20-30 minutes
Materials: Balloon (Primary)

1. Explain how cooperation can make a task easier.
2. Be a contributing, equal partner in cooperative activities.
3. State two ways cooperative people behave toward each other.

Common Core Standards addressed (Speaking and Listening):

  • Pose and respond to specific questions by making comments that contribute to the discussion and elaborate on the remarks of others.
  • Continue a conversation through multiple exchanges.
  • Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.

Lesson Procedures

Introduction: Begin the lesson with a short discussion focusing on what cooperation means and how to be a cooperative person. What characteristics make someone cooperative? When was the last time you had to cooperate with someone? Is it easier to cooperate as a group or with one individual? Why or why not?

Game Time: Practice cooperation by playing the following game.

  • Primary Game: Balloon Bop is a great way to build cooperation in younger children. Instruct students to stand in a circle. Using a light weight ball or a blown up balloon (not helium), have students bump the balloon around the circle using their bodies EXCLUDING feet. Have students count how many times they can “bop” the balloon before it hits the floor. Allow students to play a couple of rounds. Ask students the following; Why was it important to cooperate during the game? What did you notice when the balloon hit the floor early in the game? What did you notice during the round with the most balloon bumps? For more of a challenge, add more balloons!
  • Secondary Game: Birthday Lineup is a great way for students to use cooperation skills to win the challenge. Instruct students to randomly get in line. Inform students to win the challenge they must get in line according to their birthdays, month and day. The twist...students must find their spot in line WITHOUT talking. The front of the line starts with birthdays in January and ends with December birthdays. To increase the difficulty, give students a time limit. After the game ask the following questions: How did the group communicate without speaking? What role did cooperation play during the game? What would happen if just one person refused to cooperate?


Primary and Secondary:

Have students watch THIS video. Once the video has ended, ask students to retell the story in their own words. Choose different students to add detail and understanding. Retelling expectations should be based on the age and ability level of students. We suggest focusing on “WH” questions when working with younger students.

Try it out!

Primary: Encourage students to work with a friend or family member to complete a chore such as emptying the dishwasher. Have them reflect on the outcome of working together. Was putting the dishes away easier? Why? How did the other person use cooperation?

Secondary: Encourage students to work with a friend or family member to reorganize a space in the house or garage. Have them reflect on the outcome of working together. How did cooperation make the task easier? Were you able to communicate effectively to complete the task?