On Monday morning, the opinion writing class participated in a 12-minute Spaghetti Challenge as an analogy to forming their opinions. They tried to build the tallest tower that would support a marshmallow that included uncooked spaghetti, the marshmallow and a few pieces of tape. The catch? They couldn’t talk.
The room was dead silent, other than an occasional laugh or groan as a group’s tower fell apart on them.
“My favorite part was not being able to talk because it takes out an aspect of communication that we take for granted every day,” student Onur Toper said.
Some groups were serious while building the towers, and other groups giggled throughout the activity.
“The whole idea of this activity is that there is no wrong way to build the towers, and you have to go through trial and error and mistakes,” teacher Christina Hammitt said. “And that’s the same thing when you’re forming your opinion. You might start something where you think you know, and you’re very confident, but as you go through the process, you realize you may have to start over or take a different approach.”
According to Hammitt, throughout the week the opinion class will also survey their audience (other students) for opinions, draw pictures of their audience and write book reviews. Hammitt said they are starting with more concrete opinion pieces and will then move into more abstract work. For example, she said, the final project will be for every student to create his or her very own blog.
“I’m excited to make a blog, because I’m planning on making my own blog pretty soon,” Huron High School student Charlotte Bunch said, “so I think it will be really good practice and a good way to learn how to write pieces for a blog.”