Jessica Sousa

Printable Version: Teamwork

Before You Read


  •  Create a “human knot” and try to undo yourselves. Do this by standing in a circle and take the hands of two different people across from you. You can try to undo it yourselves one time without speaking to each other. Then try it again but this time you can speak to each other.
    • Which way was easier to solve the knot and why?
  • Write down qualities you think are important for teamwork and share with a group. 
  • Watch the following video: Pixar 2014 The Power of Teamwork Short Film 
    • Why do you think these small animals and insects work better together?


  • Brainstorm a list of words you think connect to “teamwork” with a partner.
  • Scan the text. Did you see any similar words that you thought about?
  • Search each of the words in the list using a dictionary or thesaurus to find 1-2 synonyms for each word:
    • inspire
    • cooperation
    • achieve
    • task
    • role
    • leadership
    • unity
    • management
    • destination
    • behavior


Read the following post written on LinkedIn.

Leadership & Teamwork -- Talk to an Ant

Ants are very small. But, these tiny insects are a huge example of cooperation and working together. Have you ever noticed a group of ants at work? If you have, then you will agree with me. We can learn a lot from their behaviors about management, planning, and above all teamwork.

Thinking Drives Behavior

I once looked at about one hundred or more ants carrying a sugar bee. Compare the size of the sugar bee with that of a single ant. By itself the ant would never be able to move the sugar bee. A group of ants certainly would move it to the desired destination. I saw the sugar bee. He was being carried on the back of the ants. They had formed a circle beneath the bee. Their success, the realization of their goal, was because of teamwork. Cooperation was the way to success in the Kingdom of the ants. The weight may have seemed heavy. The task was too much. But the energy and strength of the group brought success.

How big is the team you're playing on?

Ants live in colonies with millions of individuals. They don’t have leaders. There is the queen ant. But she doesn’t tell the other ants what to do. Every ant knows their own roles and carries out their tasks faithfully. They are able to work together effectively. They all have the same goal for the good and unity of the colony.

All styles get results!

In an ant colony, different ants have different team roles. There are the worker ants, drones and queen ants. In the worker ants, there are workers of different sizes. The larger ants have stronger mouths. These are more effective for fighting. These are also known as soldier ants. But most of the time they will do the work of a worker ant. At the same time, the smaller ants are in charge of taking care of the young.



It is interesting. The role of an ant may change with age. A new worker ant spends the first few days of its adult life caring for the queen and young. As it grows, it may then move on to digging and other nest work. Later it can defend the nest and look for food. The ants’ roles also change depending on the needs of the colony. When under attack, more soldiers will be called to defend. They leave their worker roles for the more important task at that moment.

Each ant is good at something. A colony of ants has various skills. Tasks can be finished quickly when everybody focuses on their own roles.

Let us inspire all our team to work as the ants do. Then, we will achieve almost every impossible goal.

Word Count: 465

Time: _______
WPM: _______

Retrieved from: 

Images retrieved from the same site. 

After You Read


Answer the questions:

  1. What is the main idea of this online post?
    1. To explain how ants find their food to survive.
    2. To give an example of group work in an ant colony.
    3. To show how the queen ant leads all of the other ants.
    4. To describe the life cycle of an ant from birth to death.
  2. According to the author, what did the ants carry?
    1. a bird
    2. a nest
    3. a queen
    4. a bee
  3. Why does the author mention ants in his post?
    1. we can learn lessons from them
    2. we need to save them from attacks
    3. we need to have better soldiers
    4. we can avoid hurting them
  4. Which of the following is NOT mentioned as something ants do?
    1. digging 
    2. defending 
    3. carrying
    4. capturing
  5. What does the author say about the role of ants?
    1. Each ant has a different role.
    2. All ants keep the same roles.
    3. Smaller ants do not have a role.
    4. The queen ant gives every role. 


  1. Think of a time you achieved a really difficult goal. Did anyone help you achieve that? Who were they and how did they help you?
  2. Why do you think it’s sometimes easier to achieve goals when you work with a team? Are there times you think it’s better to work alone?
  3. Think of one skill or strength you have. Share it with a group. Imagine your group needs to solve a problem. How can the strengths from each person help create a solution? 
  4. How can you be a better team member? Write down one goal and then share it. 


  • Pick a short story or write and prepare your own story to summarize to the class about teamwork. Here are a few examples:
  • Take a short personality quiz and compare your results with each other. Discuss how your differences and similarities can contribute to teamwork. 
  • Cut up a story into shorter segments and give each student in a small group a part of the story. Work together to put the story in order or fill in missing pieces. 


  • Analyze the following African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” 
    • How does this relate to learning English or another language?
  • In many cultures, non-verbal communication is very important when people work together. Compare differences in cultural non-verbal communication. How can certain gestures or body language affect teamwork?

*Teacher's Note:

Comprehension Questions: Answers

  1. b
  2. d
  3. a
  4. d
  5. a


  • It may be helpful to find pictures to show of these content-specific words: 
    • ant
    • bee
    • nest
    • colony
    • soldier
    • digging
    • defending


This text is useful for:

  •  identifying topic sentences. 
  • comparing/contrasting. 
  • ordering/sequencing patterns.


This text is useful for:

  • simple past and present tense.
  • examples of different suffixes for noun endings. 

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