Literature and Stem Connections

Using children's literature as the hook for STEM projects

Photo of Josephine Stringer
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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! 

Image title


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!







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Photo of Josephine
Team

My goal is to complement the priority standards that are being taught in the classroom but not use the same literature as the curriculum. However, I would also like a mix of content that is strictly student interest based and not related to curriculum...

I am loving this site for inspiration: http://www.pictureperfectscience.com

Photo of Jill
Team

I love the idea of literature and STEM, and a goal I am working on this year too. Have you heard of: http://www.novelengineering.org/
It might give you some other book and STEM challenge ideas.

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