Cooperation Squares First Day of School Activities and Icebreakers


Cooperation squares are one of the first day of school activities you didn’t know you needed! This hands-on icebreaker is guaranteed to promote teamwork, concentration, and focus as students join forces and work together to conquer a silent mission. Engaging, kinesthetic fun that sets the tone for a successful back to school season.


✔ Check out the preview for a closer look at this first day of school activity!

How does this icebreaker work?

  • Students are placed into groups of 3-5.
  • Each group will receive a set of envelopes containing 15 puzzle pieces.
  • When the mission begins, students must silently strategize to put together five perfect squares without talking (nonverbal/silent cooperation).
  • Group members may give puzzle parts to others in the group if they think they might help them complete their square but may not speak or signal for puzzle pieces.

This is one of my favorite first day of school activities because it’s inclusive, hands-on, and fosters teamwork from day one. Plus, with a focus on collaboration, Cooperation Squares will help establish an engaging environment that builds relationships from the start.

You can also use this back to school activity anytime you need to build community – in homeroom, in a remedial or specialty course, or even later in the school year!

What Do I Need for Cooperation Squares?

  • Various 8.5 x 11” Colored Paper
  • Envelopes

That’s it! Set aside 10-20 minutes to cut out each set of cooperation squares and stuff each puzzle set into envelopes for your different groups.

You might also like these other back to school activities:

Have a question?

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Thanks so much,

Natayle Brown


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