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Small Group Roles in the Classroom

Updated: Feb 8

Center for Learning Effectiveness

Small group role in the classroom help to foster collaboration, engagement and effective learning for students. Assigning roles ensures that every student has an opportunity to actively participate and contribute to the group discussion. By sharing responsibilities, students learn the importance of teamwork and accountability. Different roles provide students with opportunities to develop and hone various skills, such as leadership, communication, active listening, and organization. Assigning roles also promotes increased interaction, improved communication, and critical thinking skills. Here are a few roles that may help your students to become more engaged during small groups.


Guides the group's discussions, keeps everyone on track, and ensures that tasks are completed.

  • Today we are going to discuss . . .

  • Does anyone have an opinion or question about . . .

  • Would anyone else like to share their thoughts about this?

Team Captain

The team captain can lead the group, communicate instructions, motivates and ensure everyone is actively participating.

  • Alright team, let's focus and give it our all. We've got this!

  • Listen up everyone. Here is our chance. Let's work together and make it count.

  • I believe in you. Believe in yourself. Let's go out there and show them what we're made of!

  • Remember, we win together and we lose together. Let's support one another and give it a try.


Takes notes on discussions, records important points, and summarizes the group's ideas.

  • Is this something I should write down?

  • What should we share with the class?


Keeps track of time, ensures that the group stays on schedule, and alerts members when time is running out.

  • We have ___ minutes left.


Presents the group's findings or ideas to the larger class or audience.

  • In our group we discussed . . .

  • One thing we thought was important . . .

  • We would also like to share . . .

Cheerleader/ Encourager

Encourages the group with positive words or reinforcements.

  • That is a good idea.

  • Thank you for sharing.

  • Great job!

  • I'm proud of you.

  • Keep going. Don't give up.


The only person who can leave the group to ask the teacher a question.

  • Our group was wondering . . .

  • Our group wanted clarity on . . .

  • We would like to ask . . .

Security/ Mediator/Conflict Resolver

The person who makes sure the group is being respectful and diffuses escalating situations.

  • I think we need to monitor our voice level.

  • I think we should be respectful of each person’s opinion or idea.

Quality Checker

Ensures that the group's work meets standards or criteria, proofreads documents, or checks for errors.

  • Did we complete the task according to the directions?

  • Are all of the words spelled correctly?

  • Did we follow the rubric or the correct format?

Graphic Designer

Creates visual representations or infographics to enhance the group's presentations or reports.

  • Can I add a drawing, image, object, or visual to help make our work stand out to the class?


Brainstorms and generates creative solutions or ideas to enhance the group's projects or activities.

  • Is there something we can do to present our thoughts in a more creative way or a way that is easier to understand?


Conducts in-depth research on a specific topic and shares information with the group.

  • Can we add any facts or evidence to support our thoughts and opinions?


The person who gets to visit other groups and listen to what they are discussing.

  • Does this group have details or perspectives that we should consider?


Utilizes technology tools or platforms to enhance collaboration, create digital presentations, or research information.

  • How can I help my group display this on the screen?

  • What can we do to include technology?


Make sure everyone is participating equally.

  • Did everyone have a chance to share their thoughts or opinions?

  • Let’s make sure everyone has a chance to speak.


Helps the team to look back on how well the group worked together.

  • I really like the way we . . .

  • What do you think our group did well?

  • What do you think our group should work on?

Safety Officer

Focuses on ensuring the safety of all participants, reminding them to use proper equipment, follow rules, and be mindful of others' well-being.


Helps plan and coordinate the logistics of the activity, such as assigning roles, dividing the group into teams, or arranging the sequence of exercises.


Maintains and updates the score or records the performance of each team or individual during competitive activities.

Materials Monitor/ Equipment Manager

Gets and returns supplies. Leads the team with clean-up.

  • Do I have all of the supplies needed to complete the task?

  • I will leave enough time so that our group can clean up before the presentations begin or our time runs out.

What would you like to add or which role would you like to try with your students?

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1 Comment

Dec 23, 2023

As a teacher, I struggle with finding roles for everyone in the classroom on larger group projects. I would like to form an entire class participation practice for after the holiday season which I am currently working on. I found this list to be very helpful. I want to teach my students that ever role is important to getting the best end result.

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