Lesson Plan Grades 8-11 (TIER I, II & III) – Team Building

Team Communication

Career Competencies Addressed in this Lesson Plan:
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills

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WRS Task/Competency: Participate as a team member to accomplish goals.

Overview: Students work in small groups and in a whole-group environment to develop verbal and written communication skills. (60-90 minutes)

Related Standards of Learning: English 11.1

Primary Lesson Objective: The lesson reinforces the following WRS standard:  Passing on good ideas to others

Additional Lesson Objective(s): The lesson may also reinforce the following WRS standard(s):

  • Attending team (group) meetings, focusing on the topic and purpose of the meeting, offering facts and ideas, and helping others contribute facts and ideas
  • Looking for ways to help others
  • Recognizing others for their contributions
  • Letting others know what is needed to get the job done
  • Explaining the importance of teamwork to the overall operation of the business

Materials Needed

Teaching Strategies

  • Scenarios/essential questions/research/presentations
  • Small group instruction
Instructional Activity
  1. (10 minutes) Introduce the session by asking students to list things that are associated with communication.  Write responses on the board.  Discuss responses.
  2. (10 minutes)  With guided whole-group discussion, create two lists that compare and contrast characteristics of effective communication and ineffective communication.  As students volunteer answers, the class should decide where to place the item, effective or ineffective.  A few examples are listed below.


Effective Communication Ineffective Communication
Eye contact Lack of eye contact
Positive body language Negative body language
Concise Vague
Checks for understanding Drifts away from topic


  1. (10 minutes)  Conduct pass-around activity, as follows: Provide each student with a blank sheet of paper.  Instruct students to write one word on the paper that relates to team communication.  Then explain the entire group process and check for understanding, before allowing anyone to move into a group.  Once all students write one word on the paper, move the students into groups of four or five, and instruct students to take the sheet of paper and a writing instrument with them to the group.  If possible, have each group form a small circle.  In the groups, have members pass their papers to the person sitting on the left.  Once the paper is passed, the new person adds one word that relates to the first word.  Then the paper is passed again, and the process is completed until the papers return to the original owner.  Ask for volunteers to share things from this activity.
  2. (20 minutes)  Have students remain in the same groups.  Ask each group to write a set of directions that will be tested as oral directions.  Distribute the “Creating Directions” handout for this activity.  Review the directions.  Remind students to write explicit details.  Remind them also to act inept when they are following directions—they should only do exactly what was stated and nothing more.  Then groups swap their directions.  Then each group selects one person to read the directions to the group.  The group attempts to follow the oral directions, while the class watches and then critiques the performance and the effectiveness of the directions.  Use a plus/delta chart on a large paper for the critiques (plus is used for positive points, delta is used for things that should be modified.)  Each group will engage in this activity in front of the whole class.
  3. (10 minutes) Ask for four volunteers to come to the front of the room.  They must be willing to close their eyes and listen to and follow oral directions from the teacher.  The four volunteers should stand in front of the class.  The class will watch carefully as the volunteers perform, and the class will provide critiques after the activity.  Give each volunteer a piece of blank paper.  Instruct the volunteers to face the class and close their eyes.  The volunteers may not ask any questions.  Instruct the volunteers to fold the paper in half (do not specify which way.)  Then instruct the students to tear a small piece out of the center of the paper (do not specify any details.)  Then instruct students to fold the paper n half again.  Then instruct students to open their papers and open their eyes.  Most likely, the volunteers will have four very different papers, even though they followed the same oral directions.  Ask the class to state what went wrong and how it could be improved.  Then ask how this relates to team communication, and discuss responses.
  4. (10 minutes) Conduct wrap-up activity, as follows: Distribute the wrap-up sheet and review directions.  Before students begin to write, ask them to quickly recall the importance of effective communication in team/job setting.  Discuss responses.  Then have students complete the “Wrap-Up Writing.”

Sample Assessment

In addition to the sample multiple-choice test items found at the end of this section, other assessment possibilities include the following:

  • Individual oral presentation
  • Group oral presentation
  • Worksheet