What lessons do the Arts teach our 21st century students? Elliot Eisner explores this question in “10 Lessons the Arts Teach”. In order for my students to explore this question further, I facilitated an icebreaker titled “A Tower of Marshmallows”. Students split into six different groups and were provided with the following materials – 1 cup of mini-marshmallows, a handful of toothpicks, and 1 disposable plate. Their challenge was to design and build a tower of marshmallows. The team with the tallest tower wins.
Immediately students began designing their mini-architecture, and the final projects were 6 marshmallow towers with one final winner at 20 inches. During reflection, students expressed that this project not only fostered their creativity, but also encouraged them to problem solve as a team – an important lesson taught through the Arts.
By Brenda Zamora
CCNY Adjunct Lecturer