For nearly 10 years, Bri has focused on creating content to address the questions and concerns educators have about teaching classes, preparing students for certifications, and making the most of the AES curriculum system.
Teaching career readiness skills is a critical part of middle school education. At a time when your students are beginning to think about potential careers, it’s important to teach them skills like teamwork that will serve them both in school and beyond.
Effective teamwork goes a long way to helping your students be successful in your classroom, so it’s critical to develop these skills early. To achieve this, you need relevant teamwork lessons and activities that help your middle schoolers hone their skills.
In this article, we’ll look at the three of the best places to find teamwork lesson plans for middle school:
US Department of Labor
Teachers Pay Teachers
Texas CTE Resource Center
After reading, you’ll have a better idea of the types of teamwork lesson plans available to help you decide the resources that work best for your classroom.
1. Teamwork Activities from the US Department of Labor
The US Department of Labor has a resource called “Soft Skills to Pay the Bills,” which was developed to teach career skills to students ages 14-21.
These activities teach students about the value of teamwork and the importance of each individual contributing to a group effort. Students learn about good behavior and how they can impact other team members.
The teamwork unit features a 21-page PDF that the teacher (called “facilitator” in the document) can use for planning lessons.
The document includes an introduction section and five lesson plans which contain:
Approximate time for the activity
List of materials needed
Directions for the teacher and students
Worksheets and other student resources
Details for a conclusion discussion
Optional extension activities
The lesson has practically everything you need to teach your students good teamwork skills. However, there are no assessments included.
If you want to give grades for any of the activities, you will need to create your own quizzes, tests, and rubrics.
It will take you some time to create the assessments, but most of the lesson planning is already done for you. You just have to finish planning and start teaching!
2. Teamwork Lesson Ideas from Teachers Pay Teachers
Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) is an online community where teachers can share, sell, and buy resources from other teachers.
Teachers Pay Teachers has a ton of resources available with new lessons added every week by educators, which has both to its benefit and its detriment.
While there are a lot of materials to pick from, you might end up spending a lot of time figuring out which teamwork activity you want to use. You may also find a newer plan that hasn’t been refined or tried by other teachers yet.
Either way, you will always have something new to teach from each school year.
3. Texas CTE Resource Center
As an extension of the Texas Education Agency (TEA), the Texas CTE Resource Center is a great place to go for career and technical education materials. It’s especially valuable for Texas teachers who are required to meet the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) criteria.
Texas CTE offers many free lesson plans, including “It Takes Teamwork.” It Takes Teamwork is designed for students in grades 7 and 8 as part of a career development curriculum.
Over two 45-minute class periods, students try to complete the marshmallow challenge: attempting to build a tower out of index cards, masking tape, string, and spaghetti that is strong enough to support a marshmallow.
Teachers receive a complete, 12-page lesson plan that includes guidelines for direct instruction, guided practice, individual and group activities, and accommodations for students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).
It Takes Teamwork helps teachers accomplish these learning objectives:
Identify effective leadership, teamwork, and conflict management skills
Demonstrate leadership, teamwork, and conflict management to build a tower using given supplies
Utilize effective communication skills to avoid or practice conflict management.
To help students better understand and reflect upon teamwork concepts, the lesson also includes these additional worksheets for students:
An Effective Leader Vocabulary Sheet
Being a Team Player Worksheet
It Takes Teamwork Notetaking Sheet
Teamwork Word Cloud
My Performance as a Team Member Self-Reflection
Overall, the "It Takes Teamwork" lesson plan is a great way to engage middle school learners with a fun and inexpensive activity that will teach them the value of teamwork.
In addition, teachers can use the worksheets to help students reflect on their own contributions to a team effort and apply what they have learned in the future.
This two-day activity is a good fit for teachers looking for a quick but effective way to teach teamwork or are Texas instructors looking to satisfy TEKS for career development.
Teach Teamwork As Part of a Professionalism Curriculum
Teamwork skills are among the most critical capabilities students develop during their middle school years. This is why it’s so important for you to choose the right teamwork lesson plans to give your students a memorable and fun team-building experience that helps cement the collaborative skills they’ll need for success in the future.
If you’re just looking for teamwork lesson plans for middle school, any of the ideas in this article can help you plan your classes. However, we’ve often heard that educators like you teach teamwork as part of a larger career readiness and development curriculum that includes professionalism.
Professionalism is one of the most popular learning modules within Business&ITCenter21, a digital curriculum used by thousands of teachers each year to teach career skills like communication, public speaking, digital literacy, and more.
To learn more about how you can teach teamwork along with other professional skills, check out the Professionalism module catalog page: