Fastforward to Spring Break time when I decided to make this idea into a reality. We started saving all the cardboard boxes from our cafeteria & storing them in my room. Side note: Holy crap! That was a lot of boxes and I am SO glad to have them out of my room. I didn't tell the students why, I let them ask me. When they began noticing the giant pile forming in our side room they finally asked, "why" and I said, "there for the Cardboard Challenge." And that was all I said. They wanted more details but I wouldn't give them. Then a few weeks ago I asked them to start bringing in duct tape for the challenge. Again they started asking me questions, again I didn't tell them. Finally, about a week before, I showed them the video about Caine's Arcade and the Cardboard Challenge. The excitement grew and grew while the video was playing.
Then I explained the rules:
1) No weapons
2) Must be school appropriate
3) You may work alone, in pairs, or in groups (max 4)
3) Impress me
After my experience this year, I will add a rule #4: no quitting if it doesn't work out.
The kids did awesome! We went to the gym so they had a ton of room and they had 2 hours to build. Then other classes came down and took a tour of the projects.
Things that didn't go well...one child got very frustrated that her house would stay standing. She took a break, but did come back in. While she was out, several other students tried to help her out, but her house ended up becoming a bear cave...win-win.
I had a few (very few) who thought rolling the duct tape across the floor was a better idea than building. I might have to make a rule #5: appropriate use of duct tape
Everything else was smooth sailing! I even had one incredibly helpful student )who is also very shy and didn't want to show off his project) and he helped me recycle the rest of the unused boxes while they were showcasing their projects to the school.
Overall, it was an incredible experience, and you could feel the creativity bursting out of the gym. We will definitely do it again next year, only next year we'll shoot for October and maybe expand it to both 5th grade classes. Below are some pictures that show off their hard work.