In order to create rich, cross curricular STEM experiences beginning with great children's literature, I would like to re-purpose empty library shelves to "build" curiosity cabinets. These cabinets would house children's literature along with exploration "artifacts" and simple, self-directed, hands-on projects.
Examples of a curiosity cabinet about gravity/motion/wind might be the book, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind along with items that students could observe in a wind tunnel, such as feathers, paper and ping pong balls. Another cabinet might house littleBits with suggested challenge cards such as making a moving puppet after reading Balloons Over Broadway. An archaeology curiosity cabinet might house dinosaur books, fossils and a tub with sand for a "dinosaur dig." The possibilities are endless!
Sample Curiosity Cabinet about Force & Motion with a marble run as an artifact for student exploration
Next steps would be creating a list of STEM curiosity topics and finding or purchasing appropriate children's literature and artifacts. Ideally, there would be 2-3 cabinets in the library as well as 3 circulating cabinets geared to specific grade levels: K-1, 2-3rd, 4-5th.
More info at Literature and Steam GoogleDoc
Generating curiosity will enhance student engagement and drive individualized learning opportunities!