Are teams better than individuals?

1. Real Life Situation

My friend Jenny has told me that our local park will be turned into a waste tip. I am really shocked. I often go there with my friends to play football and talk. Why can’t they build the waste tip somewhere else?

At school we talked with our teacher about the waste tip/ shopping centre/ business park and decided to write a letter to the local government to tell them what we think. We spent a long time writing our letter. We wrote all the reasons that we think the waste tip is a bad idea. We had a lot of hope that our letter would change the mind of the local government.

We waited a long time for the local government to reply. We have been invited to attend a public meeting to present our opinions about this project. We are preparing our ideas and presentations.

2. Introduction

introduction_flickr crshmidt

Sometimes you might be upset by your classmates, brothers or sisters, your teachers or even your Mum or Dad. When you feel like this you might think it would be better to live on your own on an uninhabited island, just like Robinson Crusoe. But remember, even he made a friend!

If you have ever experienced how good it feels being part of a team you'll know it doesn't take long to stop feeling like you're alone. Let’s check out organisations and groups!

3. Task

task_flickr jeffk

What are the benefits of working in a team? Let’s try to find out! Form teams with 3 or 4 members and work together; we will see whether you work well together or not. We would like you to think, search the internet and consider your local area and present your findings to your class.

4. Activities

Activity 1: Groups and clubs in your local area
Activity 2: Environmental organisations
Activity 3: Voluntary work
Activity 4: Environmental activities
Activity 5: Presentation


 Activity 1: Groups and clubs in your local area


Part 1:

Look for activities you can only do as a team or group. Discuss and write down your ideas

for example; choir, orchestra, band, football team, netball team


Part 2:

What kind of groups do you belong to? Where do you feel great and where do you feel not so good? Can you explain why?

Discuss the questions above, and write down your groups conclusions.



Part 3:

What makes a good group or club?


Use your own experiences to answer this question or visit the websites below or websites of groups offering activities you are interested in:

Football Club,      Performing Arts,      About groups and clubs,      Volunteering


In my opinion a community is good if:

Fill in the table.

Ask your parents and at least 2 other relatives (brother/sister, grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc.).

According to my family member:

Write the answers in this table. Be prepared to share your findings with your group.

 Activity 2. Environmental organisations


What kind of community programmes / events are organised by the following environmental organisations?

WWF,      Greenpeace,      RSPB,      FSC,      The Wildlife Trust


Use this table to record what you find.


 Activity 3. Voluntary work


What does voluntary co-operative work mean? The following websites may be helpful:


Voluntary Services Overseas,      BTCV,      Do it - Volunteering made easy,      Groundwork,   Volunteering England


Based on the descriptions of the above websites, explain why it is worth having volunteers or taking part in voluntary work?.

Do some research in your local area on whether:

a)     Any building was built to use for voluntary work

b)     There are any buildings that could be refurbished for voluntary work.


 Activity 4: Environmental activities

Look for potential environmental activities you could do in teamwork. (e.g. making and filling up bird feeders, cleaning river banks, tree planting etc.). Ask your teacher to check whether these activities are suitable.



  Activity 5: Presentation

Present your team’s ideas to your classmates. You can use the computer or make a poster.

5. Reflection

Write down three things you have learnt about whether teams are better than individuals.

Write down two things you would like to find out more about.

Choose one of these things, how could you find out more about it?

Social learning wall

6. Conclusion

You had a chance to meet organisations for whom group and voluntary action are important. You have also experienced the work, co-ordination and – hopefully – enjoyment of working together in a planned task. The creative power of a group or community can also encourage others to act. Things we cannot or do not want to do by ourselves may become really enjoyable when carrying them out together as a team.


7. Teacher notes

Age: 8 -12


Activity 1: Groups and clubs in your local area (15 minutes plus homework)
Activity 2: Environmental organisations (20 minutes)
Activity 3: Voluntary work (30 minutes)
Activity 4: Environmental activities (15 minutes plus homework)
Activity 5: Presentation (20 minutes)

Curriculum / Subject (Cross-curricular links):

Learning objectives:

By the end of the quest all students will:

Recognise the values of a club or group.

Experience co-operative work.

Be aware of the personal benefits and community and environmental benefits of voluntary work.

Teacher assesment framework


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