Get cooperative learning underway in your classroom with a set of activities designed for mixed ability groups. While you are teaching students how to work cooperatively in groups and how to take on different roles within a group, use these activities to also address concerns students have regarding bullying, friendship, leadership and emotions.
Each of the 5 tasks should take 60 minutes to complete if the students are effective at delegating tasks and working efficiently. If they are new to cooperative learning you will need at least 90 minutes. Depending on how you work it, that is 5 writing sessions covered. There is plenty of room to expand each task over several more sessions to allow for well polished products if you would like.
You can have each group of students completing the same task at the same time (if your resources allow for it), or you can assign a different task to each group and have them rotate through. Be sure to allow time for the students to share. They will do plenty of thinking and writing as well as design posters, perform a play, create a game, publish a magazine and deliver an oral presentation.