Compassionate Courier

Fourth and Fifth Grades

Unit 6: Social Awareness, Part 2

The goal of this unit is to help students build the skills and understandings needed to work cooperatively with members of their classroom community. Students learn about and practice the cooperative learning skills of communication, compromise, and contribution. The unit prepares students to work on an upcoming community service project by first successfully practicing cooperative learning skills.

Enduring Understandings

  • Cooperation means working together to achieve a goal.
  • Cooperation requires everyone to give to the team.

  • Good communication is more than just talking.

  • Teamwork builds connections among team members.

Lesson Activities

Lesson 1 - Roll Out - Students begin their exploration of what it means to work cooperatively through a group game. They are asked to work together to brainstorm ideas while withholding judgement and to carry out a task requiring all members to cooperatively contribute.

Lesson 2 - Connections - In this lesson, students engage in cooperative tasks that emphasize the connections that occur between them as a result of group efforts. All of the students take a turn contributing to their group in a leadership role.

Lesson 3 - Hear Me Out - In this lesson, students practice listening to their team members. They learn that cooperation requires the kind of careful listening necessary for understanding and empathy.

Lesson 4 - Changing Roles - In this lesson, students take on group roles to try to win a relay race. The lesson helps them recognize that people bring different strengths to a group, and that different strength are necessary for a group to succeed.

Lesson 5 - Stand Off - This lesson uses Dr. Seuss’s story The Zax to help students analyze the reasons people have difficulty compromising. The students consider the emotional components of “no-win” situations and work cooperatively to find possible “win-win” compromises for the Zax. Students apply their learning in group work to contribute to the creation of new mindful movement sequences.

Lesson 6 - The Fruit Bowl - This lesson reinforces compromise thought a game that requires students to give up what they have for the success of their teams. Follow-up discussion helps students recognize that the group gains when individuals are willing to compromise. Students get the opportunity to see different perspectives within their classroom community as they take turns leading each other in group movement challenges.

Physical Movements


Happy Baby

Windshield Wipers

Group Poses

Extend the Learning: Social Awareness Skills in the Classroom

1. Discuss different perspectives.

2. Incorporate social justice themes.

3. Model empathetic, inclusive behavior.

Teaching Social Awareness through Reading:

Taking the Skills Home: Resources for Parents Helping Your Child Develop Social Awareness

Plan a community service activity for your family. Discuss the contribution you want to make and how it will strengthen your community. No act of kindness is ever too small!

Challenge your family to 5 days without social media. Use that time to talk, play games, or watch a show together. Choose to interact in person with family and friends rather than screens.

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