Bob and his team work to make buildings stronger and better as they learn from their mistakes. In this activity, children will be challenged to build a tall structure with toothpicks, while being encouraged to evaluate and try different methods.
Challenge students to create a structure out of toothpicks that stands as tall as the distance from their elbow to their fingertips. After demonstrating how to connect two toothpicks, allow children to experiment with different connecting objects like cheese cubes, cotton balls, and erasers. Have them investigate which provides the best support for their tower. Encourage children to try many different plans. If their structure falls down, invite them to examine why it might not have been sturdy. What adjustments could they make to their design? How might adding other objects affect the structure? Try and try again!
Using the toothpicks and connectors, have students create different geometric shapes. Can they construct a square? How about a star? Allow time for children to create their own shapes and share their method with the class.
Lines All Around Us
Talk to children about the difference between horizontal and vertical lines. Also introduce children to the concept of slanted lines. Then go on a hunt around the classroom to spot different types of lines. Have students place the toothpicks in front of them to match the different lines. Encourage students to make observations about the room walls (vertical) and the floor boards or desks (horizontal). How might these lines make a building?