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                   Teacher's Guide  
"The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so
badly that they seek it while conditions are still unfavorable.”
                                                                                             -C.S. Lewis


Guide Objective
The purpose of this teacher’s guide is to provide a succinct and clear format of some of the important instructional themes and teamwork ideas to the team training and development activities.
Team Ingredient

If we were to pull together some of the necessary elements and mixtures of teamwork, they would consist of the following components: trust, cooperation, leadership, problem solving, and a safe, nurturing environment. From these ingredients, giving a pinch of facilitation along with the experiential process of team effort, a strong and functioning “team” can be developed.

Lesson One: Writing Exercise

Engage students in a creative writing exercise, which requires them to look up the definition of the word,  “teamwork”, and write an essay to answer the following questions:

  • What is teamwork? 
  • In teamwork, what is the role of the individual? group?
  • Have you seen teamwork in the real world?
  • In teamwork, who is the leader? the subordinate?
  • What experience have you had involving teamwork?

Lesson Two: Research Exercise

Using the computer, have students individually search the internet for site about the phrases listed below:

  • Team building
  • Team bonding
  • Team work

On completion of research exercise, form students into cooperative groups. Each group is responsible to share their observations and speculation with the class.   Follow-up: Teachers should prepare to provide students with travel, career, interest resource information.

Furthermore, the resource information mentioned above could take the form of either travel & vacation brochures, career & job opportunity listings, and/or  hobby &  leisure activities information.

Lesson Three: Team Play

Now comes the fun part, but let this not blind you to the learning possibilities which await.  At this critical point in the exploration, often many teachers forget  to remove  the gold out of the mine, or in other words, extract the learning from the experience. Remember the “game” is the motivational ignition which jump-starts the learning.


Team Game: Hot-Sands Crossing


Hot Sands Crossing requires the students to move themselves from one side of the room to the other, using a specific number of contact points with the ground.


Remember safety first. If it looks dangerous have them come up with another solution!


Hot-Sands Crossing

Motivate students with an adventurous scenario as why they have to get  the group across the room.

  1. Have the group line up shoulder to shoulder
  2. The goal is for the group to cross a line about 15 yards away with an "x" (half the number of feet present) number of feet touching the ground
  3.  All group members must be connected, and cross the line at the same time
  4.  Start with the group having all feet touching the ground, and steadily increasing the number. Continue doing this until you get down to half the feet touching or 5-7 feet touching. Have fun and milk the experience!

Instructional Resources

Below you’ll find a few additional activities, movies and computer resources to support and supply you with enrichment activities and information, which can be utilized as the need arises.

Suggested Team Movies

What follows are suggested “G”, “PG” and “R” movies.

MPAA Rating: G

    • Star Trek II
    • Space Camp
    • Goonies

MPAA Rating: PG-13

    • Silverado
    • White Squall
    • Harry Potter

MPAA Rating: R

    • Band of the Hand
    • Heartbreak Ridge
    • Taps
    • Real Genius

The movie list above is best used as pre-lesson stimulus to a group  discussions. This is just an idea.  Use your own judgment, you may have additional movies that are more appropriate to your students.

Homework ideas

As a follow-up to lessons, activities and learning explorations, below is a useful list of homework ideas:

Current Events

Assign students to research the newspapers, web sites, periodicals, and magazines for articles about teamwork, and put together a news portfolio.

Student Reporter

Schedule a student trip to the hospital, fire, police department, or other real-life situation involving teamwork. Write an article about the event.

Movie Critic

Following the viewing of a movie depicting teamwork, have the students write a critique of what they saw.

Creative Writing

Have the students write a story using a vocabulary list.  Example: collaboration, morale, spirit, cohesive, leadership, teamwork, cooperation, support, trust, communication, group, collective, service, stewardship.

Service Learning

Two of the greatest by-products of working in teams is the learning, which is derived from personal, interpersonal relations and stewardship - the intrinsic willingness to serve others. In the grand scheme of community building, a truly comprehensive and hands-on team development approach is lacking a main ingredient if it does not include a service learning component. With that said, we suggest to give students the leadership reins during your lessons. Engage learners in planning and implement a month-long service project of their choice.  And as a program prerequisite, when possible,  students should be responsible for all facets of their projects, including fund raising. Remember the programmatic outcome should be service to the community.

Teaching Resources   

Below is a short list of resources, which I hope will be helpful as you develop your lesson plans and/or curriculum.

-Cowstails and Cobras II, Karl Rohnke, ISBN 0-553-3506-7

-Islands of Healing: A Guide to Adventure-Based Counseling, Jim Schoel &   Dick Prouty, ISBN 0-934-387000-1

-Storm Warriors, Elisa Carbone Knops, ISBN 0-375-80664-4

-The Outside, S.E. Hinton, ISBN 0-140-038572-X

Professional Resources

The concepts of Leadership  and Team Development can involve an intimidating and  vast ocean of information. Here below are some selected resource materials which may make your journey easier.

- Teamwork Programs for Children and Youth, Howard Garner, ISBN 0-398-04655-7

-  Helping Others through Teamwork, Howard Garner, ISBN 3-0800-0230-01223

-  Cooperative Learning, Dr. Spencer Kegan, ISBN 0-4803-5434-7

Taking Action

To those of you who are standing at the crossroads of this initiative wondering what to do, and how to get started.  May I suggest that you start with yourself first.  Look around your classroom and ask yourself,  how are my students seated? how do I call on them in class? have I taken every opportunity to grow them into teams?


Getting started is simple, it’s like walking, one step at a time, one action at a time, one idea at a time, one lesson at a time, and one objective at a time. It's been said, most of us would get along very well if we used the advise we give to others. If you act creatively , you should be okay.  Listen to the needs of your students and follow your heart .


Take action now... seek out the best in both yourself and your students.  Open your doors and windows and let in the fresh effective pedagogy of Team Development, Leadership Education, Emotional, and Character Intelligence.


In the long run, it will warm your classroom, empower your teaching and charge your students with daring learning adventures. Good luck. Strive for teamwork, and milk the experience!


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