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Six Ways to Integrate Team Building into Your Curriculum

Of course I have always wanted my students to be successful in their school experiences. But I've always wanted more than that. I've wanted my students to be successful in life!
Six Ways to Integrate Team Building into Your Curriculum: this post lists 6 different Team Building Activities and ideas on fitting curriculum ideas into these games

I recently did a search for skills needed for success in life. Most of the skills mentioned in each article overlapped. These are the ones that came up most often:
Six Ways to Integrate Team Building into Your Curriculum: this post lists 6 different Team Building Activities and ideas on fitting curriculum ideas into these games

There is so much we must teach in our classrooms these days. How could we possibly squeeze in these important skills as well?

It just so happens in my studies of brain research, I've been focused on numerous Team Building activities, and I've got some ideas on how we can squeeze these activities into our curriculum. (After all, brain research tells us that FUN is an element that helps a brain remember things!)

Six Ways to Integrate Team Building into Your Curriculum: this post lists 6 different Team Building Activities and ideas on fitting curriculum ideas into these games

Countdown is a game the kiddos love, and there are many ways to tie some curriculum into the game! You can find a freebie download of this game here: How to Play Countdown.
(You'll have to scroll down for the freebie.) In "Countdown," all you need is a sequence. In second grade, I often play the game with skip counting, since that's something they need to hear and practice over and over. Other ideas for a sequence could be: seasons, states of matter, types of communities, types of rock formations, names of presidents, or countries in Europe. 
Six Ways to Integrate Team Building into Your Curriculum: this post lists 6 different Team Building Activities and ideas on fitting curriculum ideas into these games

Speed Chatting is a Team Building activity that gives the children a chance to talk... a LOT! All you have to do to include an area of the curriculum is to give them a topic to discuss! It might be: books you've read, facts about weather, interesting words you know, a country in South America, or whatever you happen to be studying at the time! Plus, talking about what they're learning enhances the learning!
You can see more about this activity here: Speed Chatting.
Six Ways to Integrate Team Building into Your Curriculum: this post lists 6 different Team Building Activities and ideas on fitting curriculum ideas into these games
Paper Bag Dramatics is another fun Team Building activity. It involves creating skits with the props in a bag. This can easily be connected to the curriculum by putting things in each bag that are connected to an area of the curriculum. If you're studying the 5 senses, you can put things (or pictures, or word cards) that can be smelled or tasted. If you're studying plants, you can put some plant types (or pictures, or word cards) that show the parts of plants. Get it? You can find more about paper bag dramatics here: Paper Bag Dramatics.

Six Ways to Integrate Team Building into Your Curriculum: this post lists 6 different Team Building Activities and ideas on fitting curriculum ideas into these games

Pass the Clap is a favorite for the kiddos! Now I'm having a hard time trying to think of a way to include curriculum ideas for this one, since it really doesn't include verbal communication. However, if you look at the list of important skills above, we've got #2 and #8 covered! If you can think of a way to include curriculum with this one, please leave it in the comments below. But in the meantime, squeeze this one in somewhere, since these are important skills. (It only takes a couple of minutes, and it's a great warm-up activity during Morning Meeting!) To read more about this game, see here: Pass the Clap.
Six Ways to Integrate Team Building into Your Curriculum: this post lists 6 different Team Building Activities and ideas on fitting curriculum ideas into these games
High-Low is an activity I always play with students at the end of the day. However, it doesn't have to be at the end of the day. It could be at the end of a certain subject in school. The children could discuss the high and low of their math lesson, the book they're reading, a science experiment, a country they've been studying, and so on. As we know, talking about a lesson reinforces learning. Plus, they LOVE to talk about themselves! To learn more about this activity see here: High-Low.
Six Ways to Integrate Team Building into Your Curriculum: this post lists 6 different Team Building Activities and ideas on fitting curriculum ideas into these games
Party Talk is super fun and a great culmination activity! I was introduced to this when I was taking my masters program in Creative Arts in Learning. In my Music Integration class, we were to do research on a composer. I chose to research Steven Sondheim, who composes a lot of music for the theatre. (Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, FolliesCompany, etc.) Instead of having us get up and just talk about our composer, the instructor gave us "Hello My Name is" badges and we had a "cocktail party." We went around, with our (non-alcoholic) drinks, and introduced ourselves and talked about our lives. It was so much fun! Many years later, I was teaching 5th grade Social Studies. The children were researching famous people in the revolutionary war era. Of course I couldn't have a "cocktail party" with 5th graders, but we could have a "Boston Tea Party!" In this case, the kids were drinking tea, not dumping tea into the harbor. Again, we made "Hello My Name is" badges, served tea and "crumpets" and we had ourselves a tea party! Many of the kids even dressed up colonial style! I'm sure you can think of many other ways of having a "Party Talk."

Still looking for ideas to squeeze these important into your day? Be sure to check out this resource: 60 Team Building Games and Activities.

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