Lesson 7: Collaboration

In this lesson, we are learning to:

  • Practice hand-eye coordination skills to achieve a goal in groups.
  • Perform a scenario in pairs to practice negotiation skills.
  • Create a sculpture using communication skills as a team.


Episode: ‘Eddie In The Middle’ – Eddie learns that sometimes it’s impossible to be everybody’s best friend at the same time.

Find ‘Eddie in the Middle’ on NITV, Netflix or SBS on Demand

'You just gotta learn to listen to each other and work together!' – Eddie



Ahead of the lesson, prepare the materials needed for a game of ‘Team Pen’ (also known as ‘Pen Rope’). In this team challenge, students pull strings to collaboratively control a coloured marker, aiming to successfully write/draw a provided prompt.

Students will work in groups of five or six for this game. Use masking tape to secure large pieces of paper to tabletops (one table per group). Then use masking tape to secure the ends of six lengths of string (about 40cm) to the upper half of coloured markers (one marker per group).

Ask each group to gather around their table, and have each student pull a single string at opposing angles. Depending on students’ ages and abilities, challenge groups of students to draw an image or write a word as a team. Students control the marker by strategically pulling their strings to create tension. If required, model writing the word or drawing the image for students.

Students will need to coordinate their movements and communicate using commands such as:

  • Up and Down
  • Left and Right
  • Long and Short
  • Stop and Go


In a class discussion, have students reflect on the team pen challenge, presenting the sheet with the word or drawing to the class.

Invite students to reflect on the process:

  • What did you notice about working with your peers in the Team Pen challenge?
  • How would you describe collaboration? What makes working with others successful? What happens when we are not working so well together?

Now challenge students to try the same word or drawing again as a team and compare the first and the second attempts.

Invite students to reflect on the process:

  • What did you notice about working with your peers in the Team Pen challenge the second time?
  • How did your team learn and adapt from the first collaboration attempt?


Explain to students that this game involved contributing to a team as a group of individuals, each playing a part of the whole. Collaboration is an important skill we all need to learn and practice, when we work with others we can do big things, to achieve common goals.

In the Eddie's Lil’ Homies episode titled ‘Eddie in the Middle’, Lottie and Tal struggle to find a way to work together. Their disagreements get in the way of achieving their goal, a sculpture for the community art show. In this episode, we notice that Tal and Lottie have different perspectives. For example, Tal would like to make and follow a plan, and Lottie would prefer to work without a plan, to figure it out as they go.

When Tal and Lottie work together with Eddie they learn that they can cooperate as a team to achieve a collective goal. This takes compromise, being open to other perspectives, active listening, and good communication skills.


As a class, document the arguments for and against making a plan for the sculpture. Then, in pairs, ask students to role-play as Tal and Lottie. Through improvisation, students can explore how to navigate differing perspectives: Tal who wants to use a plan, and Lottie who doesn’t want one.

Encourage students to consider how they can take turns to talk, listen to the opposing character's perspective, and persuade each other why a plan might be good or bad. In the final minute, ask students to arrive at a compromise where they both agree on how they will work together.


To encourage communication strategies for collaboration and enable students to demonstrate their understanding, ask students to form small groups and create a sculpture from recycled materials. Remind students of the benefits of teamwork, taking turns, listening and communicating clearly. Teams may benefit from discussing how they will work together before the making, for example, would they like to draw a plan first? Will the members of the team have dedicated roles? How will the students deal with frustrations or conflicts in the group if they arise?


Australian Curriculum Links

Years 1 and 2
Critical and Creative Thinking
Identify and explore relevant points in information provided on a topic.
Prioritise the information that is most relevant to the topic of study.
Identify and explore relevant information from a range of sources, including visual information and digital sources.
Identify and explain similarities and differences in selected information.
Explore different ways of using language to express preferences, likes and dislikes.
Explore the contribution of images and words to meaning in stories and informative texts.
Explore language to provide reasons for likes, dislikes and preferences.
Share ideas about stories, poems and images in literature, reflecting on experiences that are similar or different to their own by engaging with texts by First Nations Australian, and wide-ranging Australian and world authors and illustrators.
Respond to stories and share feelings and thoughts about their events and characters.
Explore and replicate the rhythms and sound patterns of literary texts such as poems, rhymes and songs.
Discuss how language and images are used to create characters, settings and events in literature by First Nations Australian, and wide-ranging Australian and world authors and illustrators.
Discuss literary texts and share responses by making connections with students’ own experiences.
Listen to and discuss poems, chants, rhymes and songs, and imitate and invent sound patterns including alliteration and rhyme.
Identify, reproduce and experiment with rhythmic sound and word patterns in poems, chants, rhymes or songs.
Interact in informal and structured situations by listening while others speak and using features of voice including volume levels.
Use comprehension strategies such as visualising, predicting, connecting, summarising and questioning to understand and discuss texts listened to, viewed or read independently.
Use comprehension strategies such as visualising, predicting, connecting, summarising and questioning when listening, viewing and reading to build literal and inferred meaning by drawing on vocabulary and growing knowledge of context and text structures.
Use interaction skills including turn-taking, speaking clearly, using active listening behaviours and responding to the contributions of others, and contributing ideas and questions.
Use interaction skills when engaging with topics, actively listening to others, receiving instructions and extending own ideas, speaking appropriately, expressing and responding to opinions, making statements, and giving instructions. 
Health and Physical Education 
Identities and change
Investigate who they are and the people in their world.
Describe their personal qualities and those of others, and explain how they contribute to developing identities.
Interacting with others
Practise personal and social skills to interact respectfully with others.
Express and describe emotions they experience.
Identify and explore skills and strategies to develop respectful relationships.
Identify how different situations influence emotional response.
Movement and Physical activity
Practise fundamental movement skills in minor game and play situations.
Practise fundamental movement skills and apply them in a variety of movement situations.
Investigate different ways of moving their body, and manipulating objects and space, and draw conclusions about their effectiveness.
Personal and Social Capability
Social management
(Work collaboratively)
Share experiences of cooperation in play and group activities.
Identify cooperative behaviours in a range of group activities.
Social Awareness
Appreciate diverse perspectives
Acknowledge that people hold many points of view.
Describe similarities and differences
in points of view between themselves and people in their communities.

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