It Takes Teamwork!

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  • Lesson Identification and TEKS Addressed

    Cluster : Career Development

    Course : Career Portals: Middle School

  • TEKS Student Expectations

    • (4) The student explores the professional skills needed for college and career success. The student is expected to:
      • (F) employ effective leadership, teamwork and conflict management
  • Basic Direct Teach Lesson

    Instructional Objectives

    Students will:

    • identify effective leadership, teamwork and conflict management skills
    • demonstrate leadership, team work and conflict management to build a tower using given supplies
    • utilize effective communication skills to avoid and/or practice conflict management
  • Rationale


    In today’s job market, we are expected to be able to work together in all situations. Sometimes, we must work in groups, or on projects, with peers we may not get along with. When there is conflict, we must work through it as a team and communicate effectively in order to accomplish the task at hand. Today, you will be practicing team work, leadership and conflict management to conduct a special task.

  • Duration of Lesson

    Two 45 minute class periods

  • Word Wall

    Communicate: To impart knowledge of; make known

    Fortune 500: An annual list of the five hundred most profitable US industrial corporations

    Job Market: The total number of vacant jobs open to those seeking employment

    Leader: A person who guides or directs; a person who inspires others

    Resolution: The act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.

    Synergy: The increased effectiveness that results when two or more people or businesses work together

    Team: A number of persons associated together in work or activity

    Teamwork: Cooperative or coordinated effort on the part of a group of persons acting together as a team or in the interests of a common cause.

    Toubleshoot: To solve problems

    Workplace: Any or all places where people are employed

  • Materials/Specialized Equipment Needed


    • computer with projector for multimedia presentation
    • presenter/remote
    • computer lab with Internet access


    • index cards
    • 20 sticks of spaghetti (for each group)
    • 1 yard of masking tape (for each group)
    • 1 yard of string (for each group)
    • 1 marshmallow (for each group)

    Note to Teacher: More information on career preparation, teamwork and leadership skills can be found in these courses/lessons:

    Service Learning With a Smile: Education and Training
    Human Growth and Development

    Career Portals: Middle School

    Maximize Your Job Search with a Career Portfolio
    Practicum in Human Services

    Empowering Your Job Skills
    Practicum in Human Services

    • copies of handouts (see All Lesson Attachments tab)
  • Anticipatory Set

    Distribute ten index cards or strips of paper to each student. Have students write a word or phrase that describes them.

    On the board, write the terms “Career Preparation,” “Teamwork” and “Leadership Skills.” In groups of four, ask the students to arrange their index cards under the category that best fits the descriptor. For example, if a student wrote “problem solver,” that would be placed under teamwork. Some words or phrases may fall under all three categories. You may opt to have the students tape their cards or strips of paper on the board.

    Possible follow-up questions may include:

    • What qualities or skills do you have to prepare you for the world of work?
    • Why is teamwork so important at a job setting?
    • What teamwork skills do you possess?
    • What leadership skills do you possess?
    • If you wrote a negative word or phrase, how can this prevent you from obtaining and keeping a job? Being a team player? Being a leader?
    • What happens when conflicts occur at a job setting?
    • What do you think of when you hear the word “boss”? Describe characteristics of a boss.
    • What do you think of when you hear the word “leader”? Describe characteristics of a leader.
    • What are the qualities of an effective leader?

    If time permits, allow students to personalize their Word Cloud (see all Lessons Attachments tab) and place in their class folder/binder as a cover sheet for any other documents related to this lesson.

  • Direct Instruction with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Introduce lesson objectives, terms and their definitions.

    Distribute graphic organizer, It Take Teamwork! Note-Taking (see All Lesson Attachments tab).

    Introduce PowerPoint™, It Takes Teamwork!. (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Students will be expected to take notes while viewing the slide presentation. Allow time for classroom discussion.

    Use appropriate notes from Presentation Notes for *It Takes Teamwork (see All Lesson Attachments tab) for discussion.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • checking for understanding
    • providing assistance with note-taking, navigating to the web and completing the assessment
    • providing extra time for oral response
    • frequent feedback

  • Guided Practice with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    On the board write, “Think about being a leader.” Distribute handout, An Effective Leader is… (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout. The students are to circle the words that they think describe an effective leader. Then they are to provide an explanation of why they selected or did not select each word. Use this handout to start a class discussion.

    Lead students to share and discuss their responses. Check for understanding.

    Questions for discussion:

    • Why did you select these terms?
    • How do the terms reflect qualities of an effective leader?
    • Who do you know that exhibits these qualities? (Encourage them to think of teachers, counselors, principals, world leaders.)

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • check for understanding
    • providing extra time for oral response
    • frequent feedback
    • providing peer tutoring
    • reducing length of assignment
    • assisting student in gathering information
    • providing praise and encouragement

  • Independent Practice/Laboratory Experience with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Distribute handout, The Marshmallow Challenge (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Depending on the size of your class, divide the students into groups of four or five.

    Students will work as a team to build the tallest structure in 18 minutes using the following items:

    • 20 sticks of spaghetti (for each group)
    • 1 yard of masking tape (for each group)
    • 1 yard of string (for each group)
    • 1 marshmallow (for each group)

    Assign one of the following duties to each team member:

    • Construction Worker – gathers the items needed for the activity; disassemble the structure after activity, disposing of spaghetti and marshmallow, places other items back in their proper places in the classroom
    • Foreman – provide instructions and guidance for how to create the structure
    • General Manager – sketches structure on paper, labeling its parts as needed
    • Team Spokesman – provides a brief oral presentation describing the structure to the class
    • Master Builder – builds the structure
    • Each group will present their structure to the class.

    After presentations, facilitate a group discussion. Ask the following:

    • How did you feel when you were first placed in this group?
    • What communication skills did you use as a team player?
    • What good qualities were exhibited on your team?
    • How can you succeed on a team, even if you disagree with a teammate?

    Individually, students will complete the My Performance as a Team Member (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout.

    Allow time for questions and discussion.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • checking for understanding
    • providing extra time for oral response
    • frequent feedback
    • providing peer tutoring
    • reducing length of assignment

  • Lesson Closure

    Review lesson plan objectives, terms and definitions.

    Distribute handout, 3-2-1 Lesson Closure (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout.

    Ask students to share the most important thing that they learned from the lesson.

  • Summative/End of Lesson Assessment with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Students will write a one-page reflection of what they have learned from this lesson and how they will apply it to their lives, now and in the future. Content of the reflection may include how leadership, teamwork and conflict management skills are needed for the workplace.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • grading according to work done
    • providing praise and encouragement

  • References/Resources


    • Microsoft Clip Art: Used with permission from Microsoft.


    • Newberry, B. (2010). Life skills for the 21st century: Building a foundation for success. Boston: Prentice Hall.



  • Additional Required Components

    English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Strategies

    • word wall
    • draw visual representations of terms on word wall
    • visual representations of 16 Career Clusters
    • for pronunciation and meaning of terms
    • ask students to repeat your instructions back to you to be sure they know what is expected of them before each new phase of the lesson
    • discuss vocabulary in detail and make sure everyone has a firm grasp on it before moving forward with the lesson
    • use graphic organizers and visuals to explain the lesson in detail
    • print fill-in-the-blank handouts of the PowerPoint notes for students to follow along with the lesson
    • provide note-taking assistance using Article Stop and Jot
  • College and Career Readiness Connection

    AchieveTexas Career Cluster Crosswalks

    The Career Cluster Crosswalks housed on the AchieveTexas website provide Texas teachers with a direct connection between their CTE course TEKS and the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS). Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Cross-Disciplinary integration are the focus of the CCRS. These college and career readiness standards are essential in the planning and delivery of CTE lessons. The extent to which the integration occurs is determined by the methods and strategies utilized by each teacher.

    Career Cluster Crosswalks for Education and Training, Hospitality and Tourism, and Human Services Career Clusters can be found at:

  • Recommended Strategies

    Reading Strategies

    Current Events:

    Assign students to read about the importance of leadership, teamwork, and conflict management on the job. Information can be found in newspaper articles, magazines, journals and online print.

    • United States Department of Labor – Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success is a curriculum developed by Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) focused on teaching “soft” or workforce readiness skills to youth, including youth with disabilities. See All Lesson Attachments tab or download at:
    • Encourage students to connect reading to their life experiences or prior knowledge.
  • Quotes

    Leadership: The art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.
    -Dwight D. Eisenhower

    The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
    -Martin Luther King, Jr.

    All misfortune is but a stepping stone to fortune.
    -Henry David Thoreau

    All for one and one for all.
    -Motto from the Three Musketeeers, by Alexandre Dumas

    Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.
    -John F. Kennedy

    I’ve always found that the speed of the boss is the speed of the team.
    -Lee Lacocca

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
    -Margaret Mead

    It’s amazing how much people can get done if they do not worry about who gets the credit.
    -Sandra Swinney

    Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.
    -Michael Jordan

    (Teams) have become the vehicle for moving organizations into the future. . .Teams are not just nice to have. They are hard-core units of the production.
    -Kenneth Blanchard

  • Multimedia/Visual Strategies


    • It Takes Teamwork! (PDF)
    • It Takes Teamwork! (Word)
    • Presentation Notes: It Takes Teamwork!



    • it-takes-teamwork-ppt (application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.presentationml.presentation | 3.01 MB)
  • Graphic Organizers/Handout

    Graphic Organizers:

    • It Takes Teamwork! Note-Taking


    • 3-2-1 Lesson Closure
    • An Effective Leader is…
    • My Performance as a Team Member
    • The Marshmallow Challenge
    • Word Cloud

  • Writing Strategies

    Journal Entries:

    • I am an excellent team member because I always ____________________.
    • I am working on my leadership skills. I need to improve my ___________________skills because ______________.
    • Six ways to be a successful team member are _________________.

    Writing Strategy:

    RAFT (Role, Audience, Format, Topic) writing strategy:

    • Role – Counselor
    • Audience – High school students
    • Format – Newsletter
    • Topic – How to develop teamwork and leadership skills

  • Communication 90 Second Speech Topics

    • What makes you a good team member?
    • What benefits do working in a team have over working as an individual?
    • Five things that make you a leader instead of just a “boss.”
  • Other Essential Lesson Components

    Enrichment activity

    • Write a one-page paper about the following: What’s your best experience as a team member? What’s your worst experience as a team member? Explain.
    • Identify someone you admire as a leader. This person could be of national or local interest or may be someone in your family or community. Write three paragraphs explaining why you look up to him/her as a leader.
    • Allow students to create their own code of ethics for your classroom. This will encourage them to follow their own rules in the classroom. Display the code of ethics in a prominent area to be reviewed during the school year.
    • Have students complete a ticket out with at least one employability workplace skill they are going to need in the 21st century. A ticket out is a half sheet of paper that students are required to fill out in order to leave class. It gives the teacher an idea of how well the students grasped the concept learned in class that day.

    TEDx Talk:
    TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or fewer). The video below is related to this lesson. Allow students to view the video and lead a discussion concerning the TED Talk.

    Simon Sinek: Why good leaders make you feel safe
    What makes a great leader? Management theorist Simon Sinek suggests, it’s someone who makes their employees feel secure, who draws staffers into a circle of trust. But creating trust and safety — especially in an uneven economy — means taking on big responsibility.

  • Family/Community Connection

    • Have students interview an adult in their lives about that person’s first job. What was it? How did he/she obtain it? What were the joys and challenges? What lessons did he/she learn that helped in the next job or in life in general?
    • As a class, plan to spend a portion of a day volunteering at a non-profit organization, such as Meals on Wheels or the Red Cross. During the next class day, discuss how it felt to be a member of that team. Discuss the challenges and the rewards of the time spent as a team member.
  • CTSO connection

    Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)

    Star Events

    • Career Investigation – An individual event, recognizes participants for their ability to perform self-assessments, research and explore a career, set career goals, create a plan for achieving goals, and describe the relationship of Family and Consumer Sciences coursework to the selected career. Participants must prepare a portfolio and an oral presentation.
    • Chapter Service Project (Display and Manual) – A team event – recognizes chapters that develop and implement an in-depth service project that makes a worthwhile contribution to families, schools and communities. Students must use Family and Consumer Sciences content and skills to address and take action on a community need.
    • Job Interview – An individual event – recognizes participants who use Family and Consumer Sciences and/or related occupations skills to develop a portfolio, participate in an interview and communicate a personal understanding of job requirements.
      Leadership – An individual event, recognizes participants who actively evaluate and grow in their leadership potential. Participants use the Student Leadership Challenge and supporting materials, to investigate their leadership ability and develop a mentorship relationship to further their leadership development.

    Texas Association of Future Educators

    TAFE Events

    • Chapter Yearbook – A team event – recognizes chapters whose members work together to create a historical record of their chapter’s projects and activities throughout the year.
    • Job Interview – An individual event – recognizes participants who apply for a position as a paraprofessional. This competition includes submitting a cover letter explaining why the entrant is a good candidate for the position as well as a resume that details relevant work, volunteer, and educational experience. Then the competitor will be
      interviewed for the position.
    • Leadership Award – An individual event – recognizes participants who have made notable, voluntary contributions to education and, in doing so, demonstrated outstanding initiative. To earn this award, the TAFE/FEA member must successfully complete a self-initiated service learning project that focuses on an education-related issue in his or her community and requires a minimum of 40 hours of work. The student must then complete a well-organized portfolio.
    • Project Visualize – A team event – recognizes chapters who illustrate one of their chapter’s projects. The project must be from one of the areas of the TRAFLES – Teaching/Training, Recreation, Appreciation, Fundraising, Leadership, Educational Awareness and Service.
  • Service Learning Projects

    Successful service learning project ideas originate from student concerns and needs. Allow students to brainstorm about service projects pertaining to the lesson. For additional information on service learning see

    Organize a school-wide or community-wide “Get a Job” day. Have students provide peer counseling concerning interview skills and being an effective team member.

  • All Attachments