Building Teamwork With Spaghetti
When planning a project for your students, spaghetti noodles don’t often make the supply list. Surprisingly, this pasta provides a wonderful opportunity for teaching your students how to work together to achieve a common goal. To prepare for the activity, collect two blocks of scrap wood, drilling holes big enough to fit a piece of dry spaghetti in each. Secure these blocks to the top of a desk or table using masking tape. Because your students will be working in teams, the blocks should be placed on different surfaces at opposite ends of the classroom. Divide your students into two teams, providing each with a box of spaghetti noodles and a bottle of craft glue. Before the challenge begins, help each team secure their first piece of pasta into one of the drilled holes. It may stay on its own or you may have to place a small drop of glue on the end of the noodle before sliding it into the hole. Make sure to prepare each the same so that one team doesn’t have an advantage over the other. Explain to your students that the goal of the challenge is to create the longest connecting string of spaghetti without it breaking. Then let the games begin! It’s fun to watch as each team decides roles (i.e. who will glue, who will hold the string of spaghetti, etc.), develops a strategy, and works together to solve the problems that arise during the challenge.
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