Group Processing Traits – A Lesson Plan

March 17, 2007 at 3:49 pm (all, blogging, children, Education, Educational Leadership, Elementary, High School, kids, Middle School, Parents, principals, reading, school, school administration, teachers)

Are you trying to get your students to work in groups, but having difficulty in getting them to work cooperatively?  If so, then the follow lesson idea might help.

Traits Needed for Effective Group Process

An Educator’s Reference Desk Lesson PlanGrade Level(s): 4, 5, 6, 7, 8


  • Interdisciplinary

Description: Cooperative learning requires more than just cognitive skills. It also requires specific character traits. These traits enhance both the group process and the child’s social development. Unless particular attention is paid to their development many students do not learn them and the cooperative learning setting is marred.

Objectives: Students will:

  1. Compile a list of 10 desirable traits for working with others.
  2. Learn to evaluate which traits are needed for specific jobs.
  3. Describe these traits in work settings.
  4. Make plans for developing them.
  5. Seek parental involvement.


  1. Help Wanted ads. Try for a wide variety.
  2. Chart paper or overhead for final list.
  3. Copies for each child.


  1. To prepare for the main discussion students need to collect come raw data.  To do this they should ask one or more adults: “Besides schooling or training kind of things what would help a person do a good job of ______? (blank to be filled in with being a mechanic or teaching or whatever the adult’s job is.) Demonstrate by telling the qualities necessary for being a teacher–patience, sense of humor, caring, etc. Students should list job and any characteristics the adult gives them. 
  2. Compile the information on the blackboard in squares with the job at the top and the characteristics listed below.
  3. If there are some jobs unrepresented have the students speculate as to what characteristics are needed.
  4. Next have the students look over the lists and choose the ten characteristics most often mentioned.
  5. Make a class chart of the 10 most listed.
  6. Using clipped “Help Wanted” ads ask class to identify how the lack of one or more of the traits would affect your ability to do the job.

Tying It All Together:

  1. The list stays up. Often during the year/term refer to it. If a problem arises in group process try to identify which characteristic might have helped avoid the problem When successes occur identify which traits were in operation.
  2. The list goes home. Ask the students to discuss it with their parents. Ask them to identify time when they were successful in achieving these behaviors.



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