Coed, independent, PK3-12th grade school in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Sixth Grade Build-It Challenge
by Christine Idinge, Sixth Grade Math Teacher
Sixth graders took part in an empathy-building, collaborative activity on April 6. The goal was for students to work together in small groups to build a cube from pipe cleaners. Each team member was challenged to have a specific "disability" while completing the activity. One team member tied a bandana around their eyes so they could not see. One team member was not allowed to use their dominant arm. One team member wore noise-canceling headphones so they could not hear. One team member was unable to speak.
After building their 3D cube from pipe cleaners, teams discussed their experience. They described what was most frustrating about completing the task and working with people who had various physical differences. Students will follow up with video reflections to talk about the experience in further details. They also saw photos of current ninth graders completing the same activity when they were in Middle School.
Sixth graders have been focusing on empathy during morning CPR sessions for the past two weeks. Empathy is a critical social skill young learners can develop. Not only does empathy help build harmonious, inclusive classrooms, it is also a skill students will use for the rest of their lives as they grow into caring, compassionate adults and good citizens of the world.