Building the Pyramids...Without a Word

September 10, 2016

Teamwork without words in Ms. Sherman's science classFor their previous 10 years or so together, CAIS eighth graders have been learning two languages side by side. In Ms. Sherman’s science class this week, they had to tackle a task without being able to use ANY of those words!

Students had a blast working together to construct a pyramid of stacking cups using a rubberband string “octopus” tool. Starting with a stack of cups, the task and rules were straightforward:

  1. Unstack the cups and build a pyramid with them.
  2. The only tool allowed was a rubberband with pieces of string attached. Each student had to hold a string and learn to manipulate the tool with the team to move the cups.
  3. No talking during the project.
  4. Students couldn’t brace the cups against their bodies.

The teamwork challenge helped hone non-verbal cooperation, conflict resolution, dealing with frustration, and shared success. Plus the students can now add “Octopus String Ninja” to their list of skills!

Ms. Calcagno kindly posted glimpses of the fun at the password-protected CAIS SmugMug photo gallery.