Cooperative Learning in Action

What Will We See in This Lesson?

In this lesson, we are going to be learning more about the types of cooperative learning groups that there are. We will be watching a series of videos which will discuss some examples of cooperative learning groups, such as, Think-Pair-Share, Inside-Outside-Circle, Jigsaw, and Place ma to name a few. By watching videos where teachers are actively engaging their students with these learning styles, you will be able to gain a deeper understanding of what these environments look like, and how to engage your students in these lessons. While watching these videos, please think about the similarities and differences that you see between the lessons. Additionally, take the time to think about them in the context of your classroom or content area. It may be beneficial for you to start thinking about potential drawbacks and advantages to these styles, as that is what Unit 3 is going to focus on. Please have the link for the idea sharing up in a separate window, so you can easily access the google doc to add to.

What Does Cooperative Learning Look Like?

The first video that we are going to watch is an overview on Cooperative Learning and lists a few examples of the types of cooperative learning environments. This video contains a brief overview of one type of cooperative learning, the Place Mat method. While you watch this video, please think about the following questions:

- What are some activities that you can you use in a Cooperative Learning classroom?

- What is happening during the Place Mat activity?

- How are students engaging with one another? What is the end goal?

Click here to watch the video

The second video is about the learning activity Numbered Heads Together. In this video, you will see this learning activity in action in relation to a math lesson. While you are watching this video, please think about the following questions:

- What is happening during the Numbered Heads Together activity?

- How are students engaging with one another? How are they working together?

- How is this different from the Place Mat activity? How is it the same?

Click Here to Watch Numbered Heads Together

The third video is about the learning activity Jigsaw, which is a cooperative learning strategy where students are placed into home groups and expert groups. They become experts in a certain topic, and teach it to their home group. In this, you can clearly see how students are responsible for teaching others, and for the success of their whole group. Please think of the following questions while watching this video:

- What is the jigsaw approach?

- How do students work together in their groups?

- How is this similar and different to the other examples we have watched?

Click Here to Watch the Video- Jigsaw

The fourth video is about the activity Think-Pair-Share or Turn and talk. This is a quick cooperative learning strategy where teachers are able to quickly engage students in their learning and working together. In this, you can see how students are working together, and how cooperative learning can happen at any time during your lessons to engage students. Please think of the following questions while watching this video:

- What is Think-Pair-Share?

- How are students working cooperatively?

- How is this similar and different to the other examples we have watched?

Click Here to Watch Think-Pair-Share

To read deeper about the main qualities of cooperative learning, please read the think below:

Making Cooperative Learning Powerful

What Are Some Types of Cooperative Learning?

Since this lesson is going to serve as an introduction to types of cooperative learning activities, the above videos have shown you some examples of what they look like played out in a classroom. While we only watched a few examples of cooperative learning, there are many more out there for you to discover and engage with. I have chosen some of the most popular ones for the purpose of this mini course, but you are welcome to explore additional ideas and concepts at your leisure. You may find that some work better for your class than others and you may like some better than others. In the next lesson, we are going to focus more on types of cooperative learning and examples. This lesson helped to get your brain geared toward thinking about cooperative learning and visually seeing examples of what it looks like. The examples that we watched included:

- Place mat

- Jigsaw

- Numbered Heads Together

- Think-Pair-Share

Please go to the google doc and fill out the section of Unit 2 Lesson 1 based on your observations in these videos.

Link to Google Doc

Before Moving on to Lesson 2...

In this lesson, we have started to look at cooperative learning in the classroom. While we have touched on a few strategies, the next lesson will focus more on important characteristics of a few of the strategies. This lesson allowed you to watch a series of videos where cooperative learning strategies were useful, so you could get a visual of what cooperative learning looks like in the classroom. If you have never seen cooperative learning taking place before, it is important to closely examine these videos so you can pick up on what the room looks like, what the teacher is doing, and what the students are doing. Before moving on, please complete the exit ticket. Please note, it will not open in a new page.

Exit Ticket

Return to Unit 2 Homepage or Click to Move on the Lesson 2: Examples of Cooperative Learning Strategies

Return to Mini Course Homepage


[Ewingtj]. (2009, September 25). Numbered heads together 001. [Video File]. Retrieved from:

[FishbowlVideoProd]. (2011, July 26). Cooperative learning demo. [Video File]. Retrieved from:

[Reading Rockets]. (2012, February 16). Jigsaw. [Video File]. Retrieved from:

[Reading Rockets]. (2013, January 29). Think-pair-share. [Video File]. Retrieved from:

Salvin, R. E. (2014, October). Making cooperative learning powerful. Retrieved from: