Saturday, May 14, 2016

Marshmallow Toothpick Bridges & FREEBIE!

End of the year craziness is in full force! Field trips here, convocations there, y'all know the drill. I wanted to come up with something that would keep my kids engaged for longer than most convocations with fifth graders do, if you know what I am sayin'. 

So, I made my own twist on the classic marshmallow toothpick bridge. Students were going to build a bridge to go across two kleenex boxes using only toothpicks and marshmallows. Set up was easy-peasy. All I bought was four bags of mini marshmallows and toothpicks, all from my favorite store, TARGET! :)

I broke my class up into 8 teams and they worked together to build a suspension bridge. They had to first discuss and decide on a design for their bridge. 

Once they drew up their plans, they were handed their marshmallows and toothpicks and begin engineering and building their bridges. Each group was different and unique. Hearing them talk while they built their bridges was the best part. They were able to go over and make sure their bridge was long enough to rest on each kleenex box. I did not allow them to test their bridges with the coins. 

Once we cleaned up the stickiness that the marshmallows became, which was a MESS, it was time to test out these very creative bridges. 

My literacy specialist popped in and actually got a picture of me in the middle of our bridge testing! (Weird seeing myself on my phone without it being a selfie!)

Of course, this couldn't be a successful activity without the content. Students definitely used their STEM brains, but I also used this activity to review some of the math skills we learned this year! After we recorded all of the data on the board, it was time for the students to analyze the data by finding the mean, median, mode of the number of pennies held by each bridge. 

This was such a fun activity for the end of the year! If you want to give it a try in your classroom, click HERE to get the student book I used for this activity in my TPT store!


  1. Looking forward to trying this task with my campers this summer. I have 2 quick questions.

    1) What was the distance between the 2 tissue boxes?
    2) How many marshmallows were given to each group?


    1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by! I didn't measure the distance between, but if I had to guess, less than a foot. I was going to count the marshmallows, but it got too tedious, so I just filled the cups like the picture above! If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask! :)

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  3. I cant believe that we can use toothpick like this way too. It is such nice article that gives us a lots of information regarding toothpicks.
    Thanks for sharing that.
    Visit here

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. So when you were testing did you rest the cup on the bridge first and then put the coins in the cup. How long did you give students before the design had to be finished?