cooperation games

Students WillWork together to create a strategies to reach a goal; Cooperate to apply these strategies

Materialsmedium size ball (dodgeball size), stopwatch (like on a smartphone)

Zoo U Game ContextPlayers must ask a classmate for help, then work together to catch Lester the bird, who is loose in the classroom.

Cooperation games are a great way to teach teamwork and strategy. In this activity, students will practice their cooperation skills to make sure everyone “catches Lester,” or touches a ball, in the shortest amount of time possible.

Have you ever had a class that just could NOT get along? Whether it started at the beginning of the year and kept building, or there just seemed to be something in the air one week, having your kids at each other’s throats day after day makes it really hard to get any teaching done.

The animosity in one of my classes had been slowly building in the first couple weeks of school. I’d be trying to teach and this is all I was hearing:

“Stop looking at me!”
“I didn’t touch you!”
“That’s my crayon, get your own!”


Finally I just had to cancel art and spend my 45 minutes with them doing something, anything, to create some goodwill between these kids.

This cooperation game did just the trick.

All you need is a ball, a timer, and at least 5-6 kids (and a little patience). You don’t need a lot of space, so it can be done in a classroom, but what a great opportunity to get outside if you can!

The goal for this cooperation games is for students to come up with a way for every team member to “catch” or touch a ball that represents the Zoo U character Lester in the shortest amount of time possible. There are several ways that this can be accomplished, and the most successful ones involve teamwork and strategy.

Discussion questions will include:

  • Were we more successful when we had a plan? Why?
  • Was there anything that didn’t help the group?
  • What strategy was the most successful in our goal of everyone “catching Lester” in the shortest amount of time? Why was it successful?

Having a clear strategy before we try something makes it more likely we will reach our goal. If the first strategy doesn’t work, it just means we need to brainstorm again and try a different strategy. When we work together and listen to each other’s ideas, we can come up with a plan to achieve greater success.

View Lesson