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Name: Taylor Rumsey

Activity Title: Popsicle Stick Tower


Grade(s): 2-6
Approximate Time of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Activity Summary
This activity requires some preparation and works best for groups larger than 10 but smaller than 50. Students will
work in groups without speaking to one another, and their goal is to build the tallest popsicle stick tower using only
20 popsicle sticks and unlimited tape. There will be a 5-6 minute time limit on the actual construction part of this
activity. Students will reflect on this activity after its completed.

Activity Objective(s)

Students will use creative thinking to determine the best way to construct the
tower
Students will collaborate as a small group in other ways besides talking in order to
achieve the common goal of building the tallest tower

Materials/Resources

Supplies
20 popsicle sticks per group (ex: 5 groups = 100 popsicle sticks)
1 roll of scotch tape per group
A roll of ribbon or string that is at least 3 yards long (to measure the height of the towers)
Scissors
Timer (optional)


Optional Activity Variations

o The amount of popsicle sticks and/or the amount of tape can be altered
o This could be presented as an individual activity rather than a group activity
o This could be turned into a prolonged activity, where groups or individuals have more time to think about
their constructions
o You could allow group members to communicate through talking instead of making them stay silent






Instructional
Sequence
Approximate
Time
Procedure
Set up



Introduction













Core Activity













Closure








Clean up
(1-2 min)



(2 min)













(5-7 min)













(2 min)








(1 min)
The teacher will separate the class into groups of 5 by going around and have
the students count off, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5..
The teacher will give 20 popsicle sticks and a roll of tape to each group.

The teacher will explain the goal of the activity.

Working in your groups of 5, you will be constructing a popsicle stick tower
using ONLY your 20 popsicle sticks and your roll of tape (meaning no other props
may be used). The last rule is that you may not speak to group members during
the time of construction. You may use things like facial expressions and body
language to communicate with each other. You are going to have to think
creatively, and strategically in order to build a successful tower!

I will give your group 30 seconds - 1 minute to talk about what roles each of
you are going to play, and to gather up some quick ideas for the construction of
the tower. Once I say go, the construction may start, and the talking must
stop.

Students will collaborate ideas for 30 seconds 1 minute

Students will work together in groups (without speaking) and construct the
tallest possible popsicle tower that they can, using only a roll of tape and 20
popsicle sticks. Students will have 5-6 minutes to complete their construction

**Note: The popsicle stick towers should be able to stand up alone (meaning
students may not hold them up with their hands)

When the time is up, the teacher will walk around to each group and use the
ribbon to measure the height of the towers. After all of the towers are
measured, the teacher will compare the lengths of the ribbon to determine the
winning group

The teacher offers questions to reflect on the activity. These can include:
o What did you find difficult about this activity?
o With not being able to speak, what were some other ways that you
communicated with your group members?
o What roles did each of you play in your group?
o What did you find clever or creative about the other groups completed
towers?
o Do you think this activity would have been easier if you worked
individually?

Clean up area, and return to seats. Lesson concludes.