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Cooperative Groups: Job Cards

Cooperative Groups: Job Cards

Cooperative learning is a systematic way for students to work together in groups of two to four. It provides organized group interr­action and enables students to share ideas and to learn from one another. Students in such an environment are more likely to take responsibility for their own learning. Coopera­tive groups enable the teacher to conduct hands-on investigations with fewer materials.

Organization is essential for coop­erative learning to occur in a hands-on science classroom. Materials must be managed, investigations conducted, results recorded, and clean-up directed and carried out. Each student must have a specific role, or chaos may result.

The Teaming Up! model* provides an efficient system for cooperative learning. Four “jobs” entail specific duties. Students wear job badges that describe their duties. Tasks are rotated within each group for different activities so that each student has a chance to experience all roles. For groups with fewer than four students, job assignments can be combined.

Once a model for learning is established in the classroom, students are able to conduct science activities in an organized and effective manner. Suggested job titles and duties for Middle School students follow. A simplified set for Elementary School students also is provided below. 

Principal Investigator

  • Reads the directions
  • Asks the questions
  • Keeps the group focused on the activity
  • Checks the work 

Maintenance Director

  • Follows the safety rules
  • Directs the cleanup
  • Asks others to help
  • Makes sure that recyclable materials are placed in the correct containers 

Materials Manager

  • Picks up the materials
  • Operates or uses the equipment
  • Ask the teacher the team’s questions
  • Returns the materials 


  • Collects and records observations and results
  • Leads the discussion about the results
  • Tells the teacher when the group is finished
  • Explains the results to the class 

Able Assistant

  • Assists every member of the team

Cooperative Grouping Job Card Templates

Provided below are 1-page downloadable job cards in Microsoft Word format. These documents are for use with Avery Dennison 3-in. x 4-in. name badge inserts (5384, 5393, 74459, 74536, 74540, 74541, 78617, 78619, 5392).

For Grades K–5

Elementary Level Job Cards

For Grades 6 – 8

Multi-color Job Cards

Red Job Cards

Gold Job Cards

Green Job Cards

Cyan Job Cards

Blue Job Cards

Purple Job Cards

Magenta Job Cards

Black Job Cards

* Jones, R.M. 1990. Teaming Up! LaPorte, Texas: ITGROUP.