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Teaching Kids to Work in Groups

Teaching Kids to Work in Groups
Teaching kids to work in groups is a task which if not handled at an early stage can turn out to be quite unfavorable for the child as he or she grows up and meets more people. This article will give you an idea of how you can inculcate the idea of group work in your child at an early age.
Sujata Iyer
It is an unfortunate reality that today kids are becoming fiercely independent to the point of not requiring the help or even the presence of another person in their vicinity. True that becoming independent is not something that should be considered unfortunate, but honestly think about it: does your child refuse to interact with other kids in school? Does he insist on playing with his own toys and not sharing them with anyone? Be warned that these may seem like trivial issues right now, but as he grows up, it could turn into a problem.
It would be highly inappropriate to expect a child to understand the value of working in a group at such a tender age. Hence, it becomes the responsibility of the elders around him to educate him about the vital role that group work plays and will play in his life. This EduZenith article will give you some ideas on how to do that.
Ways to Teach Kids the Importance of Group Work
Kids have an innocent warmth in them. They also have an astounding level of intelligence which most of us fail to notice. Teaching children to work in groups involves the skillful tapping of the innocence, warmth and intelligence that they possess and showing them the wonders that the combination can create! However, simply sitting down a bunch of 5 or 7 year olds and giving them a lecture is not going to do the trick. You need to put your creativity to work and come up with unique ways to make them realize the value of group work by themselves. Given below are some methods that you can use for doing that.
Kids have wonderful imaginative abilities. They can come up with vivid stories about the vaguest topics and be extremely creative about them. In keeping with this vivid imagination that they possess, you can devise your own way of showing them how they can benefit from working in groups, by telling them different stories in which you can highlight that the characters get what they want, only because they worked as a group and not individually. Telling stories is one of the best ways to get your point across, especially to young kids. They are at a very vulnerable, yet receptive age and will absorb what you say in a story format and put it to practice in their lives because they are very influenced by what they hear as stories.
Practical Teaching
If you are a teacher, then you can incorporate group work in different activities for the kids so that they learn its importance. For instance, within your class hours, you can ask the kids to solve Jigsaw puzzles in groups as part of an exercise. They will see that when they work in a group, they are able to put the puzzle together much quicker than if they did it alone. You can also involve them in games and arts and crafts projects that will show them that working together makes the job easier and faster.
Healthy Competitions
Kids these days are more competitive than ever. It's all about getting first place and being the best at everything they do. You can use this competitive streak in them to educate them that sticking together as a group is more important than victory. Conduct races like baton relays, wheel barrows etc. and pop quizzes in teams, or involve them in these group games which will show them that winning is important, but not as important as sticking together as a group.
Personal Experiences
Another interesting activity that you can conduct is have them tell you about what their idea of group work is. You can begin a class with a small story about group work, give them some time to ponder over it, and then ask each of them to come up and tell you what they learned from the story. You'll be surprised at the different takes that they'll have on the same story. You can also give them an assignment to remember and tell the class about their real life instances in which being in a group has helped them to complete a particular task. Each child will surely have a wonderful experience to share.
Parents, siblings and teachers are the most influential people in the lives of young kids. Hence, it becomes their moral duty to teach kids how beneficial team work will turn out to be for them. There are small ways of doing this, but that does not undermine its vitality in the child's future. So, start today and watch your child transform into a wonderful team player.
Students in classroom
Tug of war game
Running girl with baton
kids playing together
Teacher Telling A Story
Teacher with kids
Young boy not sharing the computer
twin brothers fighting