Spaghetti, Marshmallows, and COOPERATION!

I facilitated a lesson with 4th graders that involved spaghetti, marshmallows, and cooperation! I divided the class into groups of three or four students. Each group received dry spaghetti noodles and a bowl of marshmallows. I instructed students that they would be making a tower with their group members. I told them that the group who had the highest tower at the end of ten minutes would get a prize from me.

After the 10 minutes were up, I asked groups what they thought the point of the activity was. Students suggested that the activity was about "working together." I asked students what was difficult for them during this activity. They commented that it was difficult to work with others, it was frustrating when the spaghetti broke, and that it was hard to figure out how to make the towers stand with all of their group members helping at the same time. I asked the students what they had to do during this activity to work together. They commented that they had to share, ask each other for ideas, listen to their group members, explain things, show each other through examples, and be patient.

The students really enjoyed this activity. This lesson is a hands-on way to show the importance of cooperation.

What creative lessons do you facilitate to teach students about cooperation? 

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Danielle is a K-12 Certified School Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and blogger at School Counselor Blog, a place where school counselors share innovative ideas, creative lesson plans, and quality resources. Connect with Danielle via emailTwitterPinterestLinkedInGoogle+, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.


  1. I love this activity but instead of marshmallows and spaghetti I use play dough and toothpicks. I work with about 550 kids per week (25-27 per class) it is easier to recycle the materials! The kids love the idea of a competition  being able to get up and move and talk with classmates. I enjoy hands on activities like these bring on more Danielle!

  2. Love this idea! A tutor of ours did a cooperation game with us where the class get into two lines facing each other, and a stick long enough to go right down the line (we used bamboo type garden poles taped together) is put in the middle, and everyone is instructed to touch only their index fingers under the sick to support it. The aim is for the stick to be lowered to the ground. You would think it was easy but we couldn't manage it!! Very frustrating but it forces teamwork and leadership skills. You could even adapt it so the quiet ones have to pitch in too by saying they have two talk passes only, each. very new to reading blogs but am so impressed with the stuff shared! Thanks!


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