8/29/18 Marshmallow Towers:


Jody Rogers

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An extremely fun and educational way to reinforce key concepts of the practice, Challenge the Process. This is an easy activity that requires minimal space and very few supplies to perform.

Group Size

No more than 5 people per team. If the total group size is just 5 or 6 people, divide the group into teams of 3, if at all possible. Team size is more important than total number of participants involved in the activity.

Time Required

45 minutes or less

5 minute introduction; 18 minute activity; 5 minute video. Additional time for discussion. The 18 minute exercise is fixed. Other times can be adjusted as needed.


Each team needs 1 yard of tape, 1 yard of string, 20 pieces of spaghetti (uncooked, of course), and one marshmallow. I also recommend making available one or two small scissors for all teams in the group to access during the activity.


  1. Divide attendees into teams of 3-5 members.
  2. Give each team the tape, string, spaghetti, and marshmallow. Provide each team access to scissors (it isn't necessary for each team to have its own).
  3. Read the following instructions to all teams at the same time.
  4. Each team has 18 minutes to build the tallest, free-standing structure using the materials supplied to each group. The marshmallow must be attached to the top of the structure you build. After 18 minutes, I will measure the height of each structure that remains standing with the marshmallow on top. The winner is the team whose free-standing structure is the tallest.
  5. Answer any questions the teams may have and give the groups a 30 second warning. After 30 seconds, start the activity and stand back. Keep watch on the teams to ensure they are following the rules of the game. Remind them that the marshmallow must be on the top of the structure, and that the structure itself must be free-standing when the activity concludes. Let them know how much time has passed until 18 minutes is up.
  6. At the end of 18 minutes, measure those structures created within the rules and that are still standing.
  7. After declaring the winner (assuming there is a structure that remains standing after the marshmallow has been attached), show the participants the YouTube video clip of The Marshmallow Challenge .

Follow-up questions to ask of the group to facilitate discussion and further learning:

Encourage the Heart of all participants by giving everyone the marshmallows remaining in the bag. Everyone loves marshmallows!

First Try: 8/29

Vocabulary Work:

discomfort (Samuel X and Adan) not feeling nice or comfortable

imprinted (Teddy and Lyric) something that is imprinted has words, shapes, pictures that have been printed into it. Examples: Coins, license plates, books, posters, rulers, dollars

primitive (Gabby and Kingstun) doing thing “old fashion” (rough and simple)

Example cabin, wood furniture

#immersed (Danny and Samuel) On task...thinking of nothing but what you are doing

Fully engaged

secretive ( Sebi and Samantha) private or hidden information

#blandishing (Elijah and Diana) celebrating and showing off good things

contagious (Chloe and Camila) give something to others...spreading something

#bungled (Giselle and Fausto) failed or messed up, missed

interior (Diego and Kimberly) inside of something

honored (Riki and Mariana) to feel proud and acknowledged


Johny Cakes