How Group Projects can Help Children

A teacher constructing a group project for pupils in a school in Orange County, California, decided to do something a little different and used inspiration from one of her lessons to help encourage the children to work together. One of the books on the syllabus; ‘Hatchet’ is about a young boy who has to learn to survive in the wild after a plane he was on crashes into the wilderness.

Teacher Sara Siebert took inspiration from this tale – where the boy has only a hatchet that his mother gave him as a tool to use in order to help build a raft – in order to create a group project that encouraged teamwork between pupils. The pupils would have to build a miniature raft out of ice lolly sticks, string, duct tape and glue in order to re-create that iconic scene.

The concept of using a scene from a book not only familiarises the scene in the minds of the pupils, they are also able to better relate to the boy in the book after having built their own ‘raft’. They also gain useful mathematic skills needed to check the consistency of the raft and how buoyant it is, as well as seeing how much easier it is to work in a team in some instances than on your own.

Teamwork is an essential part of growing and developing as a child, so making it educational and fun is always a fantastic way of ‘hitting two birds with one stone’.

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