What do you get when you and your smART partner have the rare opportunity to collaborate compliments of a morning of testing? You come up with a fun Valentine’s, STEAM inspired, “brain break” for our 6th grade students!


The objective for students was to use 20 congruent triangles (note the opportunity to teach geometry vocabulary in the art room?) to create a heart. Being the “smART team” that Miss Chris and I make, I got right to drawing 10 (quadrilateral!) squares and drew one diagonal line across to create the 20 congruent triangles. She dashed off to the copy room to make copies on pink and purple paper to celebrate our “Valentine’s theme” while I cut 12 x 18 paper in half for a colorful background to work on. Within 20 minutes, we had our materials ready for students!

Once the students arrived, we passed out materials and had them get right to work. The first task was to cut out all of the triangles. This took a little time, but they seemed to enjoy chatting while cutting offered a well-deserved social break after a quiet morning of testing!

Next they started to assemble their heart. They were given minimal instruction, except for the challenge requirement of using all 20 triangles. This definitely proved to be a challenge for some!

Some students came up with a unique approach to making their heart! This was a great “teachable moment” about how there can be multiple solutions to the same problem…

After some time, we were able to get a winner! The first student to make their heart successfully, using all of their 20 pieces, won the prize- a Valentine’s treat. Here are this morning’s proud winners…

What a fun “brain break” for our 6th grade students after two hours of testing! They got to be social, stand up while working, chat with one another, collaborate on solving the problem and challenge their brain in a fun way.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

-Mrs. S


    • Thanks, as always! The kids had a lot of fun and it was great seeing them work through multiple approaches to try and make their hearts! 🙂

  1. What a great synopsis of our STEAM challenge of the day! It was really fun, and I took the opportunity to educate the kids not only about Geometry, but also about cheezy 80’s love songs. We listened (some with enjoyment, some not so much) to REO Speedwagon and Air Supply while we worked. Music education at it’s finest 😉

    • Kudos to our teamwork on the lesson and your idea to look for a “brain break” for the kiddos. I definitely think the 80’s love songs made the lesson memorable! My 7th graders actually knew some of the words!!! 😉

    • I am happy to hear that, Emily! I love hearing about all of your creative endeavors!!!! I am glad I could help inspire you.
      -Mrs. S

  2. I like this idea alot and I like the pictures the heart challenge is a great idea and motivates kids to try and think about what they are doing It looks like lots of fun.

  3. I love this idea. Perfect for getting your brains thinking in different ways! I might try this at home.

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