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Help your class learn to work together with this team building activity

It’s easy to get caught up with all the housekeeping things on your never-ending list at the beginning of the school year.

You have to teach your students the routines and expectations, show them where everything is in the classroom, and sort through the piles of supplies.

But don’t forget how the beginning of the year provides you those wonderful opportunities for community building with your new class.

One of my favorite ways build community is with this team building activity. You can use the steps below to create it yourself or save yourself the time and effort by using mine!

Here’s how it works:


Start with a sentence you want students to get to at the end. You could make this a message about teamwork or about how awesome the students in your class are.

Print out your sentence with each word on a separate paper.

Each paper will become a puzzle for a small group. Cut the paper into strips or smaller pieces and place them in a baggie.


Separate your class into small groups and give each small group a baggie and tell them to solve their mini-puzzle. If you have more baggies than groups, have the first groups that finish solve a second puzzle.

As groups start finishing their small puzzles, they can tape them together and then take them to the front of the room.

When all groups have finished, they should try rearranging the words to make the large class puzzle revealing the secret sentence.


Have students reflect on the activity, thinking about what was difficult about working together as a small team and as a whole class, how working together was helpful, and what they could have done differently.

Then reflect as a whole class, charting the difficulties, benefits, and strategies of working as a team.

You can refer to these charts throughout the year and add to them later on.

Ready to start team building? Grab this activity here.

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