Making up a cooperative story

  • Level: Elementary school
    Age group:
    Students ages 8 and 9
  • When:
    November and December or January and February

Area of learning:

  • Citizenship and community life

Main objectives

  • Become familiar with cooperative values
  • Appreciate literary works
  • Work cooperatively in a team of 4 with defined roles
  • Write a story about cooperation using the narrative structure
  • Lead a cooperative game and explain the rules to the participants


Help students reflect on their own cooperative abilities and those of their friends. You will also evaluate skills linked to knowledge of story structure and the students own cooperative competencies.

Task 1 objectives

At the end of this task, you should be able to identify the winning practices of cooperative work by the students.

  • Time required
    One 20–minute period


  1. Have each group share with the class a winning practice of their teamwork by giving an example. Have the team's secretary note the responses.
  2. Invite one student per group to congratulate a member of any team who helped that student perform well. Ask the team secretary to note the congratulations.
  3. Ask each secretary, one by one, to read aloud the congratulations and winning practices of their teams.

Teacher's notes

Examples of winning practices or facilitating gestures:

  • Was attentive to others
  • Took into account others ideas
  • Actively participated by sharing ideas with others
  • Respected the rules of teamwork
  • Was able to play his or her role well

To encourage good behaviour, choose a corner of the classroom to put up the names of those students who set themselves apart with their cooperative competencies and knowledge.

Task 2 objectives

At the end of this task, you should be able to verify competencies related to the development of a student's capacity for cooperation.


  1. Have students modify a ”competitive” game to become a cooperative game or simply improve an existing game to make it even more cooperative.
  2. In teams of 4, plan how the game will work with the modifications, and work together to find a way to explain it to the class and lead a round of it.
  3. Reprise the roles (organizer, facilitator, harmonizer, secretary) used to tell a cooperative story. All members of the team must think about how best to present the modified game and share their explanations.
  4. During the activity, ask the team secretary to note the details of the working process that relate to cooperative competencies.
  5. Following each presentation, ask for the group's comments on each game.
  6. Play the different games created.

Teacher's notes

When the students are modifying the game, evaluate each student's work for each role. Use the cooperation evaluation grid. You can measure one or more criteria, depending on your needs.

Task 3 objectives

At the end of this task, you should be able to measure competencies related to knowledge of narrative structure based on a student's written story.


  1. Have students write a story based on a seasonal theme (winter, Christmas, Valentine's Day, etc.) while respecting the narrative structure.
  2. As a group, invent a shared story beginning and determine the traits of the protagonist and secondary characters.
  3. Ask students to illustrate the main and secondary characters based on the characteristics chosen.
  4. Post the drawings in the classroom and select those that most closely match the descriptions.
  5. Have students write a story outline that respects the narrative structure and the characters' main traits.
  6. Allow them to write their stories drawing on a list of connecting words to establish links between ideas expressed in one or more sentences.
  7. Reread stories to ensure the use of different elements of the narrative structure. Verify the quantity and relevance of ideas linked to character traits and the purpose for writing.
  8. Review the use of English language competencies (spelling, singular/plurals, conjugation, syntax and punctuation) as you normally would in class.
  9. Ask students to write out a good copy of their story by hand or on the computer and to write their name on it.
  10. Have students make an illustration to accompany their story and sign it.
  11. As a team, make a cover page and title page for the collection of stories.
  12. Suggest that students swap stories between them and everyone read at least one of their peers' stories.
  13. As a group, democratically choose a title for the collection of stories.

Teacher's notes

  • Post the character drawings in the classroom to inspire students when they illustrate their finished stories (see instruction 11).
  • Instruct students to limit themselves to 1 page for their story (1 page = 1 story).
  • Mention to students that the characters must resemble each other from one story to the next and that they must keep chosen traits in mind (e.g., clothing, hair, etc.).
  • Make the collection by gathering together all the different stories and drawings created.