Grades K-2
Grades 3-5
Grades 6-8

Best Practices for Classroom Cooperation

Engage students in a discussion to establish classroom norms around cooperation, then reinforce their learning with a fun Kahoot! game!

Activity Partner
Total time estimate:
30-60 minutes
Activity Objectives
  • Students will establish classroom norms that promote a cooperative environment, in which each student plays an important and unique role in achieving collective goals
  • Then, students will reinforce their cooperative skills by playing a Kahoot! game, and engage in role-playing exercises, poll questions, and reflections

This activity supports the development of the following
social-emotional skills: relationship skills, responsible decision-making, self-awareness, self-management, and social awareness.


Engage students in a classroom discussion about the importance of equitable team roles and diverse perspectives when working on a cooperative goal (e.g., during a group project). Consider establishing and writing down classroom norms for cooperation, such as:

  • We will work together toward our common goals.
  • We will each play equal and fair roles in achieving our goals.
  • We will support and empower each other.
  • We are better together when we welcome different ideas and perspectives.
  • We will use kind and respectful communication with others.
  • By trusting each other and working together, we will be successful!

During group projects, consider developing and assigning individual student roles that rely on the following four elements:

  • Positive interdependence: roles that rely on each other in order to accomplish a common goal
  • Promotive interaction: roles that require students to promote and encourage each other through their interactions
  • Individual accountability: roles that involve an equal and fair amount of work
  • Social skills: roles that use and reinforce social skills such as respectful communication and perspective taking

For more information on assigning equitable student roles, review this article by Bonnie Coggeshall.

Consider assigning roles in a manner that challenges students’ assumptions about themselves and others, allowing them to develop new skills and perspectives. Provide a clear description of each role, and remind students to follow expectations around each role. Some examples of student roles that you can assign (based on the POGIL model) are:

  • Encourager: encourages team members to be creative, stay focused and open-minded, contribute respectfully to discussions, and follow deadlines
  • Reporter: shares and acquires information by asking questions, clarifying details, and checking facts
  • Observer: helps the group cooperate and reach a consensus or decision by observing and processing different perspectives, and then summarizing ideas
  • Note-taker: records important information during group discussions (e.g., key decisions, ideas, insights, etc.)

Play the Kahoot! game below with your students to reinforce their cooperative skills. This game introduces different ways that they can work together to accomplish a common goal, and highlights the importance of recognizing and appreciating each person’s unique strengths. Students will also engage in short role-playing exercises, answer poll questions about themselves, and reflect on what they learned.

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