During April I'm participating in the A to Z blogging challenge.
Each day, sans Sunday, offers an opportunity to write about a
letter of the alphabet with the goal of writing 26 posts.
April is also National Poetry Month.
|Each Tuesday the Two Writing Teachers|
Blog Sponsors Slice of Life Story Challenge.
Head on Over for More Slices
For those unfamiliar with the Marshmallow Challenge, it is an activity that requires students to work together to create a free-standing tower using 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of string, one yard of tape, and one marshmallow, which must be placed on top.
After students built their structures, we had a gallery walk to admire their architectural and construction skills. We then discussed the challenges of the challenge and how working together either helps or hinders students in their efforts.
Finally, we watch the TED talk about the Marshmallow Challenge.
Listening to Tom Wujec's speech this time, I noticed his discussion of prototypes. Wujec explains that groups who build a prototype and learn what works and what needs tweaked through constructing the prototype build a much taller structure the second time.
We English teachers try to articulate the importance of constructing multiple drafts of papers. We emphasize the recursive nature of writing. I wander what would happen if we changed our verbiage and began speaking about writing prototypes rather than drafts.
Architects build prototypes as models for future construction. Yet the architect uses the prototype to discover what to model in later versions. Yes, a prototype is copied, but it also provides feedback about necessary changes.
Architects take prototype construction seriously because they don't see them as practice rounds, which students often do when composing a paper.
I shared my thoughts with students, but these ideas are new to me. I need to flesh them out. I need to construct a prototype of this pedagogy.