For Teachers

Teachers, are you ready to bring the real-world into your classroom?

We know educators are continually seeking ways to create a dynamic learning experience in their classrooms, but are often constrained by time and resources. The Co-operative Minds program can help by providing tools that align with curriculum and incorporate integrative learning into your classroom using technology, problem-solving skills, and experiential learning.

Your students will engage in project-based learning by working as a collective to tackle a real-world challenge with a direct link to a stream in the current Ontario curriculum. Community partners provide classrooms with the real-world challenges, and provide mentorship and feedback to students throughout the process.

Co-operative Minds was designed in collaboration with certified teachers and incorporates both integrative and project-based learning. Each challenge is linked to Ontario curriculum and has values of co-operative business incorporated into each unit. There is a focus on empathy, community, democratic decision-making, collaboration and equity, in alignment with the Citizenship Education Framework outlined in the current Ontario curriculum.

Our program is free to use and available to all Ontario teachers. Once registered you will be able to view all challenges within your region, and each challenge will provide a detailed problem statement along with corresponding curriculum links. After selecting a challenge and a preferred start date, your Challenge Partner will reach out to confirm start dates and provide contact information for your class mentor.

Our team is always available for support at and teacher mentors are available on request.

Overall Learning Objectives:
  1. Build and apply empathy skills to understand whether their final recommendation meets the needs of the players (thereby aligning with the values and purpose of the business).
  2. Use integrative learning to teach transferable skills such as problem-solving, innovation, communication and collaboration.  
  3. Apply critical thinking to determine the best choice for different scenarios.
  4. Teach academic content knowledge and skills, and develop a deeper understanding of related curriculum.
Program Outline:

The Co-operative Minds program is divided into five 70 minute lessons, which can be delivered as a day-long challenge or over the course of a week.

  1. Teachers will choose from a selection of curriculum linked real-world challenges provided by a partner organization.
  2. Participating classrooms will be provided with a teacher-friendly tool-kit available through Google Drive; complete with slideshow, worksheets and links to all resources.
  3. Classrooms will be connected with a mentor from the partner organization to provide coaching and feedback throughout the challenge.

This challenge can be adapted to in-person or virtual learning, or a combination of both.

Unit Overviews:
  • Empathy - 70 minutes
    Unit Goal: Students will have used empathy-building activities to gain an understanding of the partner organization and its problem. 
  • Insight - 70 minutes
    Unit Goal: Students will use guided inquiry to research and examine the two different models that the organization is considering, and identify relevant stakeholders.
  • Investigate - 70 minutes
    Unit Goal: Students will work collaboratively to synergize each model into one word. 
  • Re-imagine - 70 minutes
    Unit Goal: Students will arrive at a newly-imagined third model to recommend to the partner organization.
  • Recommendation - 70 minutes
    Unit Goal: Students will evaluate whether their model effectively meets the needs of the players and present their recommendation to the partner organization.
  • Bonus Activity - Building an Effective Presentation
    Unit Goal: Students will understand how to create an engaging and effective presentation using Google Slides.