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Marshmallow challenge
2x9 minutes
Prepare. Execute. Reflect.
Shopping and preparation
Ingredients:
Spaghetti, string, marshmallows, adhesive tape
You can use paper lunch bags or letter size envelops to
prepare the material if you have many participants. You
will also need scissors. Neither paper bags nor scissors
are allowed to be used for building!
Small prizes for the winning team
More instructions can be found here:
http://marshmallowchallenge.com/Instructions.html
Preparation:
Put the materials on every desk – 20 spaghetti, 1 marshmallow, 1 m string, 1 m tape, scissors.
Ensure you also have enough material for the second round
Put up the rules on flipchart or beamer so the participants can see them during the game
Prepare the debriefing
Get started:
Read about the game and watch the video: http://www.ted.com/talks/view/lang/en//id/837
Page 2petranovskaja.com
18 minutes versus 2x9 minutes
The traditional Marshmallow Challenge lasts 18
minutes. The approach presented here with the
division of the exercise into two working sessions has
the following advantages:
The participants have the opportunity to review
what they have achieved in the first turn and
learn for the second round
The first result serves as a reference
The iterative approach usually brings better
results in the second round (higher / more stable
towers)
Page 3petranovskaja.com
Practice (1)
Before the start:
Tell the participants that the game was played
by thousands of people worldwide before
Divide them into teams - 3-4 people are ideal
Explain the rules
DON’T tell them about the second round!
Give the participants time to go through the
rules and ensure that there are no more
questions!
Start the challenge, set the timer to 9 minutes
Build the tallest
freestanding
structure
The entire
marshmallow
must be on top
Use all
material you
need
Break
spaghetti, cut
string or tape
The challenge
lasts 9 minutes
The structure
will be measu-
red from here
Page 4petranovskaja.com
Practice (2)
Be there for questions
Remind the teams of the time remaining
Pay attention to fascinating words being spoken
and interesting things happening. Make notes!
Remind the teams of the rules, if needed
10, 9, 8 … 2, 1 – hands off!
Page 5petranovskaja.com
Practice (3)
“Tadaaa!” or “Oh-Oh!” ?
Some teams are successful, some are not
Give the participants time to look around
Start a 3 minutes lessons learned round – either
facilitated or free
End this session exactly after 3 minutes
Hand out new material – explain that every team
now has a second chance and may use the
lessons learned
Start the challenge, set the timer to 9 minutes
Page 6petranovskaja.com
Practice (4)
Debriefing
Measure the structures and identify the winning team
Give the participants time to look around and to discuss
the different approaches
Wrap up with some facts:
Kids do better than students
Managers spend a lot of time on discussing roles and
responsibilities
The marshmallow is a metaphor for the hidden
assumption
More information can be found here:
http://marshmallowchallenge.com/Instructions.html
Page 7petranovskaja.com
Reflexion
The end
Give the participants something to think about after
the game, e.g. some questions related to their role or
project.
The reflection can vary according to participants and
objectives.
Thank all!
What took
most of the
time?
What was my
role in the
team? How did I learn
that?
What did we
change in the
second round?
How much did
we work on the
problem?
How much did
we work on the
solution?
Page 8petranovskaja.com
petranovskaja.com
Twitter: @petranovskaja
Mail: nadja@petranovskaja.com
Seite 9
Is what you think = what you say = what you do
= how you feel?
Give me
more!

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Marshmallow challenge (English)

  • 2. Shopping and preparation Ingredients: Spaghetti, string, marshmallows, adhesive tape You can use paper lunch bags or letter size envelops to prepare the material if you have many participants. You will also need scissors. Neither paper bags nor scissors are allowed to be used for building! Small prizes for the winning team More instructions can be found here: http://marshmallowchallenge.com/Instructions.html Preparation: Put the materials on every desk – 20 spaghetti, 1 marshmallow, 1 m string, 1 m tape, scissors. Ensure you also have enough material for the second round Put up the rules on flipchart or beamer so the participants can see them during the game Prepare the debriefing Get started: Read about the game and watch the video: http://www.ted.com/talks/view/lang/en//id/837 Page 2petranovskaja.com
  • 3. 18 minutes versus 2x9 minutes The traditional Marshmallow Challenge lasts 18 minutes. The approach presented here with the division of the exercise into two working sessions has the following advantages: The participants have the opportunity to review what they have achieved in the first turn and learn for the second round The first result serves as a reference The iterative approach usually brings better results in the second round (higher / more stable towers) Page 3petranovskaja.com
  • 4. Practice (1) Before the start: Tell the participants that the game was played by thousands of people worldwide before Divide them into teams - 3-4 people are ideal Explain the rules DON’T tell them about the second round! Give the participants time to go through the rules and ensure that there are no more questions! Start the challenge, set the timer to 9 minutes Build the tallest freestanding structure The entire marshmallow must be on top Use all material you need Break spaghetti, cut string or tape The challenge lasts 9 minutes The structure will be measu- red from here Page 4petranovskaja.com
  • 5. Practice (2) Be there for questions Remind the teams of the time remaining Pay attention to fascinating words being spoken and interesting things happening. Make notes! Remind the teams of the rules, if needed 10, 9, 8 … 2, 1 – hands off! Page 5petranovskaja.com
  • 6. Practice (3) “Tadaaa!” or “Oh-Oh!” ? Some teams are successful, some are not Give the participants time to look around Start a 3 minutes lessons learned round – either facilitated or free End this session exactly after 3 minutes Hand out new material – explain that every team now has a second chance and may use the lessons learned Start the challenge, set the timer to 9 minutes Page 6petranovskaja.com
  • 7. Practice (4) Debriefing Measure the structures and identify the winning team Give the participants time to look around and to discuss the different approaches Wrap up with some facts: Kids do better than students Managers spend a lot of time on discussing roles and responsibilities The marshmallow is a metaphor for the hidden assumption More information can be found here: http://marshmallowchallenge.com/Instructions.html Page 7petranovskaja.com
  • 8. Reflexion The end Give the participants something to think about after the game, e.g. some questions related to their role or project. The reflection can vary according to participants and objectives. Thank all! What took most of the time? What was my role in the team? How did I learn that? What did we change in the second round? How much did we work on the problem? How much did we work on the solution? Page 8petranovskaja.com
  • 9. petranovskaja.com Twitter: @petranovskaja Mail: nadja@petranovskaja.com Seite 9 Is what you think = what you say = what you do = how you feel? Give me more!