Party tricks with sugar cubes

WilsonW and MordecaiL performing the magic trick for themselves.

Who likes magic tricks? We do! A few days ago, for the in-class portion of a writing lesson in some of our summer classes, we demonstrated a simple (but highly amusing) party trick involving a pencil, a sugar cube, and a glass of water. After the demo, it was our students’ turn to give the trick a shot. In the photo at the top of this post, you can see WilsonW and MordecaiL performing the trick together.

VivianH composing the instructions for performing the trick.

Once everyone understood how the gag worked, we tasked them with writing a set of instructions detailed enough that a friend who had never seen the trick could perform it themselves. VivianH is working diligently on her instructions in the picture above.

Animation of our students hands using photos taken after they'd done the trick

If you’d like to try your hand at a bit of simple magic, check out this wikiHow link describing a variation on the trick that we did: How to Make a Number on a Sugar Cube Appear on the Palm of a Hand. They have you write numbers on your sugar cubes, but we used letters from the alphabet instead. You can probably guess why.