Today I brought in heaps of marshmallows and toothpicks. This activity works best if the marshmallows are a bit stale. I opened the bags of marshmallows yesterday and left them out overnight so they would be more crunchy and stay in the toothpicks better.
We have been learning about 3-D shapes and have played with many of the solid 3-D shapes. Today I had the students build some of the 3-D
shapes they were familiar with such as the cube, square based pyramid, and rectangular prism. We spent a lot of time talking about the properties of prisms and pyramids. I was very pleased to hear the students use the term congruent to describe prisms as having "two congruent bases".
I have taught this lesson many times and it is always a hit with the students. At the end of the lesson I drew each 3-D figure on the board and had the students use a felt marker to mark the marshmallows and toothpicks as they counted the number of vertices (corners) and edges each of the shapes had. I suggested they mark them with felts because sometimes I have found in the past that students tend to make simple mistakes counting and re-counting the vertices.
Many of the students explored other prisms such as this pentagonal prism, octagonal prism, and the hexagonal prism. Another example of this lesson can be found on a mentor's blog HERE.