Labeling and Eating
Before students can enjoy eating their creations, they need to demonstrate some understanding of polyhedra. You have two choices on how to proceed here. You can either have students finish all the polyhedra on the list, and then label them, or you can have students label each polyhedron as they finish it. If you opt for the latter, the students can reuse their gumdrops.
To keep a record of their work and ensure they are really applying mathematical knowledge, pass out small slips of paper for each polyhedron that look like this:
___ Number of Faces
___ Number of Vertices
___ Number of Edges
___ Shape of the Base(s)
Alternatively, you can make a master sheet for all polyhedra.
As students work, walk around and monitor the room, checking on the gumdrop shapes, making sure that students are filling out their record sheets, and providing assistance and feedback. If some students finish before the others, encourage them to create new polyhedra with their gumdrops and toothpicks.
Once the majority of students have completed the assignment, let the eating begin! Just make sure that each student has finished before he or she unleashes that sweet tooth.
You'll find that polyhedron concepts stick more firmly in your students' minds after this fun project.