Lesson Plan : Cooperative Learning With Broken Squares

Teacher Name:
 Ms. Milligan

 Broken Squares
 Cooperative Learning Structure: Communication Skills Structure. Rationale: Although oral language is a huge part of communicating in our society, children also need to learn how to communicate and work together in a non-verbal way. A huge part of this lesson is learning how to share, a concept many young children have a hard time of grasping. Vocabulary: Non-Verbal, Sharing, Construct
 English Language Arts and Reading Knowledge and Skills
 The Students will be able to: -Give nonverbal directions -Share game pieces with their teammates -Work together with their teammates to construct four squares.
 Broken Squares, envelopes
 What does a square look like? Who knows how to draw a square? Could you help someone else draw a square? Well, today we are going to do just that, we are going to work in teams to construct squares. But guess what?! When we do this activity, everyone’s voices have been taken away! No one will be able to talk! That will be our first rule for this activity, “No talking.” How do you think you can help your teammates construct the squares with no voice? Think silently, now keep those ideas in your head. When we work with other classmates, how should we treat them?(Guided Discussion, leading to consideration, etc) Write one or two of those down as a rule.
 When we start the activity, I will give each group four envelopes, everyone in the team will take one envelope. There is one special colored piece in each envelope that you must keep. That is part of the square that you will be constructing with your pieces and the pieces in the other group members' envelopes. Just because there are four pieces in your envelope does not mean that those will make a complete square. Such as, I have the blue envelope with two pieces of a square in them, but Josh has the other pieces to my square! What should I do? Say “Josh give me those pieces?” Or Should I take just them? (Explain being curdious at this time.) We have to work together, without saying a word to get both of our squares together, along with helping our other teammates construct their squares. When you are done, raise your hands and I will come check your work.
 Model with students in front of class. Lets say Sarah, Alex, Mike, and I are all working on one team. Each of us has one envelope. See the orange piece in Alex's envelope? He has to keep that piece. Mike has a red one, Sarah has an orange one, and I have a purple one. We have to keep these pieces, we can not give them away. Now we will work together to construct our squares, but we can not talk. So if Mike has a piece to my square, I need to figure out how to get that piece without saying a word. We will continue to work until all four of are squares are complete.
 Children who are having a hard time working in such a large group can be split into smaller groups. Children who are not able to construct the squares can be given a layout in which their group looks to match their pieces to the pieces on the layout sheet.
Checking For Understanding:
 Bring the children back to the carpet. Have a small discussion on what worked best, why it is better to be nice to others and help each other out. Ask the different groups what worked best for them when they constructed their squares when they could not speak. Ask if they were nice to each other and shared.
 Discuss with the students other times that they can communicate without talking. Finger to the lips(be quite), etc.
 Checklist on whether the group worked together, each child was participating, and if the group was able to construct the squares.
Teacher Reflections:
 Although this activity was suggested for kindergarten students, I feel it was a little too difficult for that age children. I think in the future I would have a "cheat sheet" for all the children to look at as the constructed the squares where they could check themselves. This may take away from some of the cooperative part of the lesson, but the children would still be helping each other construct each square.

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