I teach a special class for intermediate students. Now, these classes I teach are a little special. We don’t read regular ESL textbooks, we read a newspaper geared for students. This paper comes out monthly and it features a variety of articles. They cover foreign and domestic current events, fun activities, and a center topic (such as the Olympics, or dog shows, or pop stars).
In an earlier edition, we read an article about the Eiffel Tower, and how the city of Paris planed to renovate it. That gave me the idea to have the students build a tower of their own! So I had my class, and another similar class taught by another teacher at my academy, do the same activity.
I had both classes do this simultaneously in two separate rooms. I split the classes up into teams. There were three teams in each class. I had another teacher monitor and help the second class since I couldn’t be in two classrooms at once. Before the activity, I prepared a worksheet with a couple of pre-activity questions for the students to fill out. Each team was tasked to build a tower using just marshmallows and chopsticks after a brief explanation. The chopsticks acted as their rods and the marshmallows acted as their joints to hold the structure together.
I showed a couple of examples from the Internet to help the students brainstorm.