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Feeling Puzzled? Try Teamwork!

In this learning activity, adult learners work together in teams to meet quotas and work a jigsaw puzzle. They also practice paying attention to detail.

Learning Objective Learners practice with a quota system and learn its concepts. Learners also recognize the value of teamwork and relying on others who are a part of their team.

Work-Based Skills EFF Skills: Interpersonal Skills: cooper- ate with others; Decision Making Skills: use math to solve problems and communicate.

KSAs: Cooperates with others; Works on a team effectively; Listens for understanding; Accurately performs work.

SCANS: Basic Skills: arithmetic/ mathematics; Interpersonal Skills: participates as a member of a team; Resources: human.


  • Job skills

  • Mathematics

  • Work environment

Activity Description Employers find it expressly important that their employees not only get along well with each other but also work well as a team. Keeping accurate records is also part of the way a com- pany calculates progress and efficiency. My learners would be more

marketable in the work force with experience in these skills.

  • 1.

    Open the activity by discussing the ways companies use accurate record keeping. Also discuss why teamwork is the wave of the present and the future at companies and why it is important to work well on a team in order to be successful.

  • 2.

    Choose the number of teams you want and put learners on a team. (I used teams of three or four each.) Explain how quotas work. Give this example: If a team building picture frames has a quota of 400 per day and they actually made 375 one day, they fell 25 short of their quota. This would be expressed as –25. If they had actually made 450, then they were 50 above their quota. This would be expressed as +50.

  • 3.

    Explain that teams within the class are going to use quotas in putting a puzzle together. Decide how many days you want the project to last. With the class, figure the number of pieces necessary each day to reach that goal. (I would suggest having the teams only work one hour per day on their project.) Figure the quotas for each team each day. (For example, for a 300-piece puzzle to be completed in three days with four teams: 100 pieces per day, 25

Families First is the Tennessee program to provide training for those welfare recipients who lack basic education skills. While learners do work toward a GED, emphasis in these classes is shifting toward the knowledge, skills, and attitudes learners need to acquire and keep a good job.


Chris Spiess Dyer County Literacy Program

Materials and Resources 300-1000 piece jigsaw puz- zle (each team may have a separate puzzle if space allows)

Learner Level Grade levels 6.0-12.9

Learner Grouping Small group

Time Needed Several class sessions

Setting This learning activity was conducted in a class that is workforce focused as well as preparing for the GED test. The class meets for four hours a day, five days a week.




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