Lesson: Team Building 101

Summer Camps
Having Fun with a Robot Selfie Stick

Welcome to the Lesson: Team Building 101. This is a core lesson for kids who do not necessarily know each other to begin with. This lesson is also helpful to students who do know each other!

The truth is that the modern world REQUIRES the ability for young and old, boys and girls or them to be able to work together with little effort. Learning team skills and discovering the quick ways to build a good team is surprisingly easy. It requires four simple things:

  1. Respect [To feel or show deferential regard for; esteem or admire.]
  2. Self-Respect [Regard for one’s own standing or position.]
  3. Communication [The act of an EXCHANGE of information.]
  4. Adaptability [capable of being or becoming that which is needed at the time.]

Know Your Worth: You must find the courage to leave the table when respect is no longer being served.

Tene Edwards

What Do These Four Things Have to Do with Teamwork?

To be real people, we must first treat ourselves and others as real people. The one thing that humans are NOT is “things”. This may not be obvious, but showing little respect for others is a glaring sign of a lack of self-respect; here’s how.

It starts with empathy.

Teamwork starts with empathy, whether you like it or not – that is irrelevant – you are part of a team. If you treat others with cruelty or apathy then you are telling everyone that you wish to be treated that way as well. How do you wish to be treated?

A Note on Apathy:

Apathy, by the way, is an absence of care and sidebar: apathy is the opposite of love, not hate.

Do Unto others only that which you wish to be done to you.

Every Human Culture in Existence

This is the golden rule and it is the glue of any team. You must treat others as you wish to be treated. A good team treats each other with all four of these components.

We will be building teams from strangers, so there will be some design challenges tied to this. This is critical work. We have to care about each other, so we can care about ourselves and others.

As my good friend, Mando would say:

Image courtesy of Walt Disney Productions and Lucasfilm.


  • Open hearts and minds
  • A whiteboard
  • Three whiteboard markers
  • a hat filled with twelve tickets with three numbers


  1. Group the students together.
  2. Ask each student to pick a ticket out of the hat and pass it to the person next to them.
  3. Do this until every student has a ticket.
  4. Red tickets are one team, Blue tickets are one team, Green tickets are one team.
  5. Ask the students to group together and introduce themselves.
  6. Ask them to offer on thing about themselves that most people do not know OR;
  7. Ask them to tell someone else something about that person that they believe is true.
  8. Record all results on the whiteboard with each student’s name.
  9. Give the students 10 minutes for this activity.

Learning Integration

This is important for multiple reasons. First and foremost is Social and Emotional Learning. COVID19 has isolated students and made social interactions awkward and scary.

Students also often come to camp with negative ideas of being judged and fear of failure and inadequacy. They might not want to be here. We have an opportunity to give them agency and pride, we should take that opportunity.

This exercise directly relates to building confidence and self-esteem as well as empathy.

The “Sophie’s Choice” of revealing something (they may not even know) about themselves or guessing at something about another is complicated. Choose vulnerability and self-reflection or embarrassment and potential insult. This is when we all of become real people.

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