Today we began the last unit of the year in my Geometry class that involves solid 3-dimensional figures. I opted to play a game with my students and challenged them to build towers out of marshmallows and toothpicks in a group of three.
The idea was to build the tallest free standing tower in seven minutes..
It was fun to listen to students as they determined what would make the strongest foundation, ensure that their structure did not get too heavy and topple over, and ensure that they had enough building supplies.
It was a good activity and in the end we were able to define some terms for class as well:
edges – “toothpicks” – where two faces meet
faces – the flat “surfaces” of the “solid” (which in our case were invisible and the solid was not really all that solid at all)
vertex or vertices – “marshmallows” – where two edges meet
After the building, students then went online to do a Quizlet (I found one that suited my needs and adapted it) even though I had not introduced the terms. It was awesome that they were able, through trial and error, to determine the meanings of some of the terminology.