One activity challenged students to use cooperation to build boats that float out of given materials. The goal of the activity was stated clearly to the students: to work effectively as a team to build a boat that floats. They were given an additional optional extension challenge as well. Students could opt to find out how many pennies their boats could hold without sinking. All of the six boats held an incredible number of pennies. But more importantly, ALL teams were equally successful, no matter whose boat held the most pennies. I used the penny extension to show that success does not mean winning or holding the most pennies. Success means achieving your goals. In this case, no one group was more successful than any other because they all met the original goal. In an often winning-focused culture, this is a powerful lesson.
Student Learning Statements:
"Success is not whether you win or lose."
"Teamwork requires everybody's ideas."
"Success means achieving goals."
"Teamwork requires everyone to work together."
"Teamwork requires problem solving."
"Cooperation means everyone works together towards a goal."
"Success means you worked together to accomplish your project."