Newspaper Towers
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Reflection Survey


Build the tallest tower possible that can support a tennis ball and withstand wind.

Hurricane Irma

Materials List:

  • 6 full sheets of newspaper
  • Piece of cardboard
  • 5 craft sticks
  • 1 meter string
  • 1/2 meter tape
  • Tennis ball
  • Fan


  • Come up with a team name and tell . (She will link it to avoid everyone trying to do it at the same time.)
  • Post your team name to your wiki page, along with a team photo.
  • Take some time (no more than one class period) and research tower designs. Post 3 important facts you discovered about creating strong, tall towers. Visit some of the following sites for research: Building Big, How Building's Work, How products are made, skyscraper design & construction.
  • Each team member needs to draw as many design ideas as possible. Take a photo of each one and post to the wiki. Label each photo to show who made the design.
  • Discuss each design and create a new one based off all the good parts of each team member's ideas. Take a photo and post to the wiki.
  • Build your newspaper tower. - Take at least two photos during the construction phase and post.
  • Take a photo of your final tower and post to your wiki.
  • Record the height of your tower.
  • Complete the reflection questions below.

Team Work Roles:


Team Name

Height of Tower (cm)

Did the tower hold the tennis ball? (Yes / No)

Fan - Low speed

Fan - Medium Speed

Fan - High Speed


Answer the following questions on your wiki page. Copy and paste the questions to your page. Use complete sentences, accurate spelling & grammar.
  1. Why was the winning tower more successful than others?
  2. What could your team have done to improve your design?
  3. If you could build the ideal tower, what materials would you use and why?
  4. Look over the teamwork rubric and list two areas your team could improve?

Teamwork Rubric
Needs Improvement
  • Often dominates, sits passively, or gets distracted
  • Sometimes dominates, sits passively, or gets distracted
  • Usually shares the workload equally, encourages others as needed, offers help as needed, and accepts direction from team members
  • Usually follows role assignments

  • Talks most of the time, rarely allowing input from others- Or –
  • Rarely talks, requiring partner(s) to do most talking
  • Usually balances talking and listening, though tends a little more to one than the other
  • Listens attentively to others ideas, asks questions when needed, offers ideas, and encourages others input

  • \Occasionally able to read and manage their own motivations and behaviors
  • Able to read and manage their own motivations and behaviors
  • Able to read and manage their own and others' emotions, motivations, and behaviors

  • Dominates decision making- Or –
  • Allows others to dominate decision making
  • Sometimes seeks to reach a consensus, but often goes with just a majority rule
  • Seeks to reach a consensus for all decisions
  • Uses appropriate conflict resolution skills as necessary

  • Rarely builds solutions or decisions from ideas of other team members
  • Sometimes builds solutions or decisions from ideas of other team members
  • Gives some thought to similarities and differences of members’ ideas
  • Frequently builds solutions or makes decisions synthesizing ideas from all team members

  • Has difficulty considering all other’s ideas, synthesizing, or compromising
  • Generally considers all ideas, sometimes seeks to synthesize, and sometimes makes compromises
  • Carefully and respectfully considers all ideas, seeks to synthesize, and compromises when needed
  • Works to be part of the solution, not part of the problem


Work Completion Checklist:

  • Your team name is on the top of your wiki
  • You have a team photo on your wiki
  • You posted 3 important facts you discovered about creating strong, tall towers.
  • Your page has a picture of each team member's design.
  • Your final team design is on the wiki.
  • Your page includes 2 pictures of the building process.
  • A photo of the final tower is posted to your page.
  • Your team answered the 3 reflection questions. (The question is included in your post.)
  • The reflection questions were answered using completed sentences, accurate spelling & proper grammar.
  • Your team listed 2 areas (based off the rubric above) where they can improve.
  • Your page is organized & easy to follow.