Zoo Cage Challenge

In Primary 3E we have been reading books by Dr Seuss. We recently read “If I Ran A Zoo”.

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The children were challenged to build a cage for a zoo animal. The goal was to build the strongest zoo cage using only the materials provided. The children had to work in teams and each team was given the same materials with which to build their cage: 2 pieces of cardboard, 4 straws, plasticine, pva glue and scissors.

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First the children had to come up with a plan. They were not allowed any more cardboard or straws once they had ran out. This meant they all had to decide as a group what they were going to do. It was important that each child in the group got a chance to have their ideas heard.

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The children had to take turns during the building process too. It was hard to make sure that everyone got to do a job.

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Everyone enjoyed this part of the challenge. Lots and lots of plasticine was used!

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When they were finished being built, we tested how strong they were by putting Dr Seuss books on top. The strongest zoo cage had 20 on it before it collapsed!

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We had a big discussion afterwards to help us think about what we had learned.Here are some of our questions and answers.

Were you successful in this challenge?

“No, because the cage bars didn’t touch the roof.”
“Yes, because there was plenty of room in the cage.”
“Yes, because we all talked about it before and we put glue on the plasticine to make it stronger. We tried lots of different ways!”

What was the most difficult part of this challenge?

“Cutting the straws the same size.”
“Not being listened to!”
“Gluing all the things together.”

What was the best idea you came up with during this challenge?

“Putting the animal in last of all.”
“Making plasticine walls.”
“Putting glue under the plasticine to make it strong.”
“Cutting the straws quite short.”

P3E really enjoyed this challenge and are looking forward to working together to problem solve again!