Fridays can sometimes be a hard day to keep students motivated. Often they are tired from the busy week and excited for the weekend, which can lead to a lot of chatter. So these are the days I like to plan hands-on, collaborative activities.
I have been following the Schwakida School Of Thought blog (excellent place for ideas - see the link on the side) and THIS post from December caught my eye and since we are studying structures, I decided to give it a try.
I challenged the students to either work in a groups of 2 or 3 or by themselves, if they preferred, to create the tallest structure using only cards, straws, and paper clips.
This open ended activity drew upon their knowledge of structures, imagination, and problem solving skills. It took a long time for some groups to develop a plan. Many groups experienced frustration as their structures sometimes fell over. Overall, it was a great exercise that encouraged the students to "Think Outside The Box", as the Schwakida team proposes.