After a not very productive group activity with one of our fourth grade classes, I decided they needed to work on their social skills. In the International Baccalaureate program we have something called Approaches to Learning and one component is Social Skills. This class needed more practice and I decided to give them the opportunity! I wanted to use a fun makerspace activity to engage the students, one that wouldn’t require any academic prep.
The library media specialists in our school system attended a makerspace workshop at the beginning of the school year conducted by Cari White from Texas. We did an activity where we built a tower using index cards and round labels. Easy-inexpensive, not much prep on my part, accessible to all skill levels!
The Hook-the Book-Rapunzel
I chose a book with a tower in it, Rapunzel and decided to use Bethan Woollvin’s version as it short. I needed to allow time for the students to read the IB Approaches to Learning: Social Skills before working in groups. After reading Rapunzel, the teacher divided the students into groups of three and each group did a carousel reading of the skills.
The Building of the Tower
The challenge is simple: work as a group to build the tallest tower using 20 index cards and 8 round labels. In reflecting on this activity, I would spring for a better quality of index cards. I used the ones that you can get at the beginning of the school year for 50 cents. They didn’t have quite the stiffness that a higher quality of card would have.
The students, as I predicted, were a little slow in getting started. Not much communication or collaboration, but eventually they got the hang of it!
And they were so proud of their towers!