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In this packet you’ll find resources to use in guiding students to consider the sticky questions of group dynamics. While we often ask our students to work collaboratively, they rarely have the opportunity to consider the nature of such work. With these four handouts, which you can use together over the course of a unit involving group work, or at the beginning of a term to help students prepare for all such work, you will give your classes a chance to explicitly consider what makes a good group member and what makes a positive group experience.
I designed this curriculum because I never had anything like this myself as a student, and I never really understood group work. In my groups it seemed there would be one or two students competing for the glory of doing all the work and one or two students competing to do the least. No one was too happy with the situation.
Hopefully, by using these handouts, students can discover ways to interact positively and productively together. Though every student is always going to contribute differently, by discussing the goals and dynamics up front, they will understand how they can contribute using their individual gifts and respecting the contributions of others.
Mini-Interviews: This handout invites students to discuss their past group work experiences with their classmates, drawing conclusions about positive group dynamics as they go.
Brainstorm: What Makes a Good Group Member? : This handout gives students a chance to reflect on the types of contributions that do and do not help a group succeed.
Group Work in Real Life: This handout gives students a chance to consider the many group situations they will encounter in their future. As they come up with ideas, like family life, boardroom debates, sports team experiences, camping trips, volunteer committees, etc., they will further understand how important learning the art of group dynamics can be.
Reflection: How did the group work go? : This handout gives students a chance to reflect upon a group experience and draw conclusions they can build on in their next group situation.
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