Monday, July 30, 2012

The STORY bridge challenge

I think I mentioned a few months ago that I was organising a Story Bridge Challenge for my year 9 classes.  It has taken me three months to get over it.  LOL.

I have finally loaded the photos and have everything sorted to let you in on the fun we had.  I think I should probably start by telling you about the task and the organisation.  I should also mention that the activity was a class celebration of the National Year of Reading.

Two support classes combined to make one large class of approximately 28.  The first 20 minutes of the lesson was spent discussing work place health and safety principles with our Deputy Principal who is also the head of year 9 and the school work place health and safety officer.  His presence had a wonderfully calming effect on our boys... out of 28 students there were approximately 4 girls, which tells you that we had 24 boys.  I also managed to book in a few extra Teacher Aides to help out, so each group had an adult watching over them.  I did this to cover all bases, but I have done a similar activity with less adults before and it was very successful.

Each group was given a bag with all the materials they needed and a task card.  

The TASK: Use only the materials provided to build a "story bridge".  The bridge must be at least 30cm long and 30 cm high.  The bridge must be able to support a book for at least one minute.  

We also told our students that the best bridges would be displayed in the Library.

I invited one of the teacher librarians to come and "judge" the bridge constructions.  He was so excited to be invited to participate.  He spoke to all the kids personally and discussed construction principles.  He tested all the bridges and checked that they met the height and length requirements.  He was very impressed with the student efforts and found something positive to say to all the groups... even the dismal ones.

I know it doesn't sound very good that the "teacher" even says the kids produced dismal work.... but it is true.  Considering the age of the students (14 years) it would have taken only a reasonable effort to create something.  One group pinned together a plastic bag and two plastic cups.  There was no structural integrity to the bridge at all and they knew it.  

The pictures give you a fair idea of the fun and creativity that was unleashed in my classroom.  There were kids everywhere. There were books everywhere.  It was fabulous.

I am having some difficulty organising these photos, so I hope it all works out okay.  I apologise if the formatting is a bit special.

:) M


Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

M said...

Thanks for the invite Steve, I will check it out. I would love to know how you came to find my blog and become a follower. :)