Teaching Students to Work Together
The focus of this lesson is to reinforce the concept of working together through teamwork.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
About this book
Woof! Woof! The focus of this lesson is to reinforce the concept of working together through teamwork by encouraging participation in fun literacy and cognitive activities.
Clifford’s Big Idea: Work Together
When children learn how to successfully interact and share common goals with other children, they gain valuable social skills. Learning how to work with others comes most often from observation and personal experience.
The following activities nurture essential:
- Social and emotional skills
- Language and literacy skills
- Fine motor skills
- Cognitive skills
- Creative expression through music skills
- Clifford’s Busy Week by Norman Bridwell
- Pictures or drawings of a train for demonstration
- Rectangle, circle, and cylinder shape patterns
- 11"-by-9" construction paper in various colors, at least one sheet per student
- Black construction paper, one sheet per student
- Space along a bulletin board or classroom wall to display the class train
- Adhesive or thumbtacks for displaying the class train
- Optional: Chart paper or projection of "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain When She Comes" lyrics
Day 1: Lost and Found!
Step 1: Discuss the concept of working together and teamwork. Explain that when friends work together, good things can happen!
Step 2: Share feelings associated with losing a favorite toy. Encourage children to take turns relating their own experiences with losing something special.
Step 3: Show children the illustrations from Clifford’s Busy Week by Norman Bridwell. Have your students make predictions about what is happening in the pictures.
Step 4: Read Clifford’s Busy Week aloud to the class.
Teaching Tip: Before reading to children, take time to find out which key words from the text they already know. This will help you plan pre-reading activities targeted for increased vocabulary and comprehension.
Step 5: Check for comprehension by having children retell the story and identify characters.
Step 6: Ask children to give this story a new title and talk about how Emily Elizabeth and Clifford worked as a team to find Clifford’s lost toy, Squeaky.
Day 2: Teamwork Train!
Step 1: Before beginning this activity, cut out and assemble the locomotive for your train. Use the same rectangle and circle shape patterns you will give your students. Make sure to add a cylinder on top for the smokestack!
Step 2: Help children recognize basic geometric shapes found in a train by showing them pictures or drawing a model. Explain that by working together as a class, the students will build a long train with a boxcar representing each student. Show them your locomotive and explain that it will be the front of the train.
Step 3: Provide children with rectangle and circle shape patterns, pencils, scissors, colored construction paper, and glue. Demonstrate how to trace the shape patterns with a pencil and cut them out with scissors.
Step 4: Help each student trace and cut out a rectangle from colored construction paper and two wheels from the black construction paper.
Step 5: Have the students glue the black paper wheels to the colored rectangular boxcars.
Step 6: Encourage children sign and date their boxcars.
Step 7: Once all of the boxcars are cut, glued together, and signed, help children cooperatively build a train by hanging their boxcars in a row along a bulletin board or classroom wall.
Optional: Substitute children’s names as you sing and clap to the old railroad tune "She’ll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain When She Comes." For example, "Jane will be coming 'round the mountain when she comes" or "Jack will be coming 'round the mountain when he comes."
Working together to gather and record information can be a fun and valuable learning experience!
- Help children create a “Lost and Found” journal by describing, drawing, and cataloging information about lost items in the classroom or school. Have children update the journal weekly and give a short report on new items lost and found.
- Explore trains of yesterday and today to help children discover the history and importance of one of America’s oldest means of transportation.
- Play the BE BIG: Work Together Video Clip for the class.
- Have students color in the "W is for Work" Reproducible.
These books support Clifford’s Big Ideas and reinforce valuable early literacy skills:
- Clifford Collection by Norman Bridwell
- Clifford’s Big Book of Stories by Norman Bridwell
- Sizes and Shapes (Clifford the Big Red Dog Workbook) by Dina Anastasio
Also check out the Clifford the Big Red Dog Book List.