It is that time of year. The time you look forward to all year. But, when it arrives can be difficult, busy, and overall chaotic.
May has arrived.
It is tempting to want students quietly working in their seats, but the reality is that is more difficult that planning some fun, engaging activities. That is where “The Marshmallow Challenge” proves to be helpful.
was originally designed as a leadership and business exercise to be used to jump start a meeting or team.
With a little more structure, it is easily transferable to a classroom of students.
The Marshmallow Challenge
Materials per group:
1 – large marshmallow
20 – pieces of spaghetti
1 yard of tape
1 yard of string (not pictured)
1 pair of scissors
1 paper bag to place all of the materials
Assemble enough bags for your classroom and staple them closed. Depending on the age of your students you may choose to have them work in groups of 2 to 4 students. Explain to students that everyone has equal supplies and the goal is to create the tallest freestanding structure and the marshmallow must be on top. Once again, the challenge calls for 18 minutes, but depending on your class you may want to extend that to 30 minutes.
Try it out, the kids will love it! Then, discuss what was difficult, what they didn’t anticipate, what they would do differently, etc. A great way to incorporate problem solving and thinking skills into a fun end of the year activity.