Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us



Contribute to ReadWriteThink

ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.



Professional Development

Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.



Did You Know?

Your students can save their work with Student Interactives.

More more

HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

It's Too Loud in Here! Teamwork in the Classroom

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 30- to 45-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Jennifer Reed

Arlington, Texas


International Literacy Association


Student Objectives

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3


Student Assessment/Reflections



Students will

  • Learn to discuss thoughts, feelings, and ideas with others

  • Scaffold learning through discussion with peers

  • Connect prior knowledge with new knowledge as they develop ideas about the world around them

  • Make text-to-self connections by comparing their personal experiences with the experiences of characters in the story

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the text through a writing response

  • Use drawing or writing to express thoughts, feelings, and ideas

  • Develop a sense of community in the classroom

back to top


Session 1


1. To activate prior knowledge, ask students, "Why is it important to have rules in our classroom? Why do we make rules? Turn to your neighbor and tell him or her one rule that you think is important." Give students about 15 to 30 seconds to discuss their ideas with their neighbor.

2. Read Lizzy's Do's and Don'ts by Jessica Harper. After reading, tell students that they are going to help you decide the classroom rules by discussing their thoughts, feelings, and ideas with some of their classmates.

3. Divide the class into small teams of three, four, or five. Once you have divided the teams, have them pick an area in the room where they can work (e.g., the floor, a table).

4. Have each team number off, so that each team member has a number (Example: A team of four will have a 1, 2, 3, and 4). To make the numbering process easy, say to the teams, "The tallest person will number your team from tallest to shortest, with the tallest team member being number 1."

5. Each team member will have a specific job for the team that is determined by the number he or she is given: 1-Captain Question, 2-Materials Specialist, 3-Recorder, 4-Timer, and 5-Motivator (Note: You can choose which jobs you would like to use. They do not necessarily have to be in the above order.) The different job assignments ensure that each member participates in the group work, rather than having one student doing all of the work. Hand out the Team Member Job Cards to each student with the corresponding job. Explain the different jobs clearly.
  • Captain Question: In charge of asking the teacher questions so that every student is not asking (Specific questions might include: "How much time is left?" "We forgot what we were supposed to doŚcan you remind us?" "Our red marker ran out---what else can we use?" and "What do we do when we are finished?")

  • Materials Specialist: In charge of getting the materials (e.g., sticky notes, the talking chip, pencils or marker) needed for the team project

  • Recorder: In charge of writing the rules as each team member participates and makes suggestions

  • Timer: In charge of watching the timer or clock to make sure that every task is finished before the time is up

  • Motivator: In charge of supporting, cheering, and guiding the team to be positive and participate in the activity
6. Once teams are settled in their area, give the remaining directions. Say to them, "Now you will work with your team to come up with 5 rules for our classroom. Think about rules that are important to school. When you have the Team Talker Chip in your hand, you are the only team member who may talk. Other team members are listening to you. The recorder is writing down your rule suggestion on a sticky note." Scaffold students' learning by modeling an example of writing a rule on a sticky note, then adding it to the chart. Say to students, "When you are finished, pass the Team Talker Chip to the next person. The recorder will finish writing the rule on the sticky note and then will start writing the next rule on a new sticky note. If you write five rules and time is not up, keep writing until you hear the timer stop. You will have five minutes to develop five classroom rules. The person who is number 3 in your group may be the team member to start. GO!"

7. When time is up, have each team member stick at least one of the team's rules on the chart paper labeled as "Our Classroom Rules."

back to top


Session 2

1. With your guidance, have students decide which rules are necessary to keep for the class. You may be able to combine or categorize some rules.

2. After you and your class have developed the classroom rules, divide the class into teams of two or three. Each team will work together to type a rule in ClarisWorks or Microsoft Word. Each team may choose the font, size, color, and graphics to represent the rule. This activity may be done in the school's computer lab. If a computer lab is not available, make this a literacy center in the classroom. Give each group 15 minutes to work on their rule. The number of groups you have will determine how much time will be needed.

back to top


Session 3

Once each team has finished writing and illustrating their rule, have a share session where each rule is shared. Hang the rules in the classroom and refer to them throughout the year.

back to top



  • Following the same framework used in developing classroom rules, have teams work together on story elements, prewriting activities, and prereading activities for any story.

  • To encourage team building, have teams engage in fun activities, such as puzzles, scavenger hunts, computer activities, jump rope, and so on.

back to top



  • Have each student write in his or her independent journal about what was learned about working with others.

  • Have students complete the How Did I Help My Team? sheet.

  • Have teams set goals for the next group activity, sharing what they will focus on to make their team better the next time.

  • Have teams work together to complete the Team Job Rubric.


back to top