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    structure activity
    By momof2

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    I did this activity last year with my fifth graders and they talked about it all year long! It's actually a structure lesson from Magic School Bus series. It says primary grades but the fifth graders were able to put much more into it than a primary student would. Their designs were most likely more elaborate. Here's a link from the Scholastic site I just found.
    http://content.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=1670

    First I had done an activity for the different types of intelligences. I made my groups based on those findings so that the same type of learner were in the same groups. (if I could) They did not know I grouped them as such.
    Materials needed were toothpicks - (same # to each group), gumdrops (same # to each group), a small paper cup with a paper clip bent to make a hook, and pennies. I had these counted out, 50 to each team to start. You could also use kidney beans and just change the form. I might do that this year.
    Anyway, basis behind this is to build a structure that will hold the weight of a number of pennies/beans. They count as they drop each object into the cup and record. When their structure sags or breaks they are finished. They discuss what went wrong and how to improve and they do get to redo their structure.
    It was amazing to walk around and see each structure. Some boy scouts knew what to do because of training they had. Triangular structures hold the most weight but most kids don't know that. They start out building squares and some fall apart immediately.
    I kept clean gumdrops for afterwards for eating!! Don't forget your digital camera, makes great photos for open house.

    I believe I did this on Day 2 or 3, not on the first day. First day I did some of the other activities listed here, but I do like the double bubble activity. I do 3 truths and a lie, where kids have to write 4 things about them, one that they've made up. Then sometime during the day I read them and they try to figure out who the person is and what is the LIE. Great fun. Good luck and have a great rest of summer.

    View the original thread this idea was posted on



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