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Working Together

The importance of teamwork

by Rebecca Parkinson (revised, originally published in 2008)

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To use simple games to demonstrate the importance of teamwork.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need ten small sample carpet squares (these are usually available free or cheap from carpet shops). If they are not available, sheets of A4 paper will do.

  • You will also need a dictionary and the means to display the word ‘Team’ in large letters.

  • Optional: in the Assembly, Step 1, you may wish to have available some large sheets of paper and pens so that the children can record their definitions.


  1. Ask one of the children to hold up the word ‘Team’. Ask the children to come up with ideas as to what the word means.

    Optional: if available, ask some of them to write their definitions on large sheets of paper.

  2. Ask one of the children to look up the word ‘team’ in a dictionary. Record the definition. Explain that you are going to ask a few children to come to the front to carry out tasks that require teamwork.

  3. For Task 1, mark a start and finish line that are approximately 15 metres apart. You will need two teams of six children. Ask the two teams to line up behind each other at the start line. Give the first child in each team five carpet squares (or pieces of paper).

    Explain that you want both teams to move from the start line to the finishing line by using the squares as stepping stones. The children cannot put a foot on the floor unless there is a stepping stone for them to tread on.

    The children will need to work as a team because there are not enough stepping stones for them to have one each. They will need to share stepping stones, passing them down the line and back to the person at the front if they are going to move forward.

  4. For Task 2, you will again need two teams of six children. Ask each team to stand in a circle facing one another. Ask all six children in each team to reach one hand into the centre of the circle and take hold of one other child’s hand. Now ask them to reach their other hand into the centre and take hold of a different child’s hand.

    Explain that the children must gently keep hold of each other’s hands, but must allow movement of the hands so that they dont hurt each other. The aim is for the six children to ‘untwist’ themselves so that they are in a complete circle with their hands still joined! (Some of them may be facing out of the circle.) The children will need to talk to each other and work as a team as they duck under and bend round each other.

  5. Ask the children what would have happened in both games if the teams had not worked together. Explain that Christians believe that God made us so that we could all work together to make the world a better place. He placed us in families that are like small teams that care for and look after each other. He gave us friends so that we could have fun together and make each other happy. He gave us a wider family in school so that we could be a team together, supporting and helping each other in everything we do.

Time for reflection

Are we good team players?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Is there something we could do today to help someone feel more part of our class/school team?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Are we committed to helping and encouraging one another?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Encourage the children to spend time thinking about how they can encourage or help someone today.

Dear God,
Thank you for placing us in families, in friendship groups and in a school that cares for us.
Please help us to play our part and be good team players who always help and encourage others.


‘When I needed a neighbour’ (Come and Praise, 65)

Publication date: January 2019   (Vol.21 No.1)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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