String Shapes: How-To

Basic Instructions

  • Break students into groups of 4-6.
  • Provide each group with a 6-8′ length of string
  • Teacher provides prompts for challenges that students have to solve as a group without talking to one another. They can find other ways to communicate, but they can’t talk.
  • Example Prompts:
    • Create an equilateral triangle.
    • Create a shape with at least two parallel sides.
  • Encourage students to find non-standardized ways to measure and check lengths and angles.


  • What was your experience working with your group?
  • What challenges did you encounter? How strategies did you use to solve them?
  • Where else do you see these challenges or have to use these skills?

Secondary Math Strategies

Creative Learning Strategies for Secondary Math


Use these strategies at the beginning of a lesson or unit to help students access prior knowledge around the content and make connections to their lived experiences.

  • Art Talk: Teacher asks open ended questions to promote dialogue around a piece of art or image that relates to the curriculum.
  • Artifact: Use an object or collection of objects to generate inquiry and help students make curriculum and real world connections.

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