Today, I invited my grade 9 / 10 Locally Developed English class to participate in an activity called “Pencil Drop”, which I have modified slightly.
I used the following materials: about 4 feet of yarn, masking tape, a pen (or pencil) and a bottle with a smallish mouth, about the size of an old-school Coke bottle.
- Two students volunteer to stand facing each other about 3 or 4 feet apart.
- Attach the pen/pencil to the middle of the piece of string, either by tying it or by taping it. (This time, I taped it.)
- Use pieces of masking tape to attach the ends of the tape to the students’ shirts. (NOTE: Have the students attach the tape to their own shirt, as opposed to the teacher doing it.)
- Place the bottle about halfway between the two students.
- Their challenge is to now lower the pen/pencil into the bottle without using their hands.
- VARIATION: The two students volunteer to be blindfolded and try again.
- You can then connect this activity to your curriculum, if you so choose: our class is discussing the qualities of a hero and one of those qualities is “Feats”, so I wanted to make the connection that this activity required the students to work together, to give instructions to each other, to trust each other and to protect each other — all of which they did with aplomb.
Here is a PDF of the activity from a web site that includes potential discussion questions.