Rolling in Dough

K, 1, 2

This lesson teaches responsible personal conduct and encourages students to understand that being in a group requires cooperation, working together, getting along, resolving conflicts, and having fun together.

Lesson Rating 
PrintThirty minutes

Students will:

  • develop the tools necessary for working and playing in a group.
  • describe and demonstrate behaviors that are necessary for people to work together in a group.
  • large bowl and measuring cups and spoons
  • ingredients for play dough recipe: 3 cups flour ¾ cup salt ½ cup water -- multiply to have enough for class
  • powdered paint, a few pinches to tint the dough 
Home Connection 

Teacher will duplicate the recipe for play dough and send copies home to the parents. Teacher can encourage parents to work with their children using recipes for baking


  1. Anticipatory Set: We are going to make play dough, and "cooperation" is a necessary ingredient. Describe the recipe and steps for making. Ask the students how they will cooperate to make and share the dough. Discuss appropriate behavior for a positive classroom community. 

  2. Arrange class into small groups.

  3. Provide bowls, tools, and the ingredients to each group.

  4. Encourage all of the children to talk about the best way to share responsibilities and become involved in the preparation.

  5. First, add the water to the bowl, next the dry ingredients, then the students should take turns kneading the play dough.

  6. When the play dough is finished, the group should divide it equally. Children then may have a period of playtime with the play dough.

  7. Following the play period, the play dough should be stored in a covered container and refrigerated.


Teacher observation. Note whether children were able to cooperate and create the play dough together.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark E.3 Describe a benefit of group cooperation.
    2. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.8 Describe classroom behaviors that help the students learn.
    3. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark E.3 Participate in acts of democratic citizenship in the classroom or school, such as voting, group problem solving, classroom governance or elections.