Tied 2 Teaching's products have been created by a teacher who believes that learning should be fun. STEM Activities, Full Year of Challenges with Close Reading combines hands on activities with close reading passages to make learning about the particular topic of study fun and interesting for children.
The activities are geared for children in the 3rd-6th grade age range but they can be modified to be used with children who are a bit older or younger. This downloadable full year bundle contains over 65 STEM challenges. Each challenge comes in a 21 page PDF download and contains: a page with a link to a close reading page, a question page about the paragraph, a challenge page describing what the challenge will be, a page showing examples of the kinds of ideas other students have come up with, a page describing design criteria and suggested materials, a couple of pages with the Engineering Process (Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, Improve) with empty space for children to draw and explain their ideas, a page with spaces for children to draw or explain what they did first, second, next, and last, a page where children can explain what they tried, noticed, improved, and whether or not it was successful, a page where they can describe what went well and what can be improved, a STEM page where they can describe the science behind the project, do additional research, explain their design, and explain what can of data they can learn and use from the project, and a parent letter to send home about the project if you are using it in a classroom or co-op.
To complete the close reading assignment you will have to have access to the internet. Supplies needed to complete each project will vary depending on the project but the supplies used are ones that are found around the house or easy to obtain. There are themed challenges that go along with certain holidays or seasons and challenges that can be done at any time. A few of the challenges include:
Civil Rights Monument Design Challenge
Sled Design Challenge
Cupid's Box Design
Groundhog Burrow Design
Build a Leprechaun Trap
Basketball Tower STEM Challenge
Design a Carrot Carriage
Design a New Driod
House of Cards Challenge
Index Card Skyscraper Challenge
Apple Boat Challenge
Bone Bridge Challenge
Cranberry Tower Challenge
Cardboard Reindeer Challenge
Airplane Design Challenge
I have been using STEM Activities, Full Year of Challenges with Close Reading with my 11 and 13 year old boys and my 8 and 10 year old girls have joined in on a few projects. I chose activities that they thought were interesting and we have been completing one challenge per week. My boys especially are very involved in STEM. In fact,STEM is 4 of my boys' main 4 H project and we just recently entered a 4 H Regional STEM Under Water Robotics competition where they had to design and engineer their robot and complete under water courses, and they won and are heading to an International Competition in June. They love STEM and are very familiar with the Engineering Process.
The first activity we chose was the airplane design challenge. To complete this challenge, they had to design an airplane made mostly out of wood using clothes pins, toothpicks, and popsicle sticks. They could use other material such as hot glue, duct tape, and masking tape. To start out, I printed the pages out for the children and read the close reading paragraph aloud so they could complete the worksheet on it. This did not work out. For one of the questions, "What was the main idea of the 4th section of the text" , they needed the paragraph in front of them, so I gave them the computer. Then they started planning their designs and building them. They had a great time with it!
Next they did the bone bridge challenge. They had to design a bone bridge that could stretch across a pit of "lava" using q tips as the main product. For this challenge and the rest of them, I printed out the close reading.
|Christian added some LEGO men to his bridge|
Then they did the House of Cards Challenge. For this challenge they could only use cards and it had to be at least two floors.
They did the droid challenge as well but I seem to have deleted the images.
We have really enjoyed our STEM Activities, Full Year of Challenges with Close Reading activities. I love the range of projects in the bundle including the themed activities. I love that the materials that are used for the projects are easy to find or are things you already have. I did not buy anything for the challenges we completed. I love that there are included photos of designs. We have had design challenges before that we had absolutely no idea how to go about completing. The photos will give children ideas if they are stuck. Theses projects are fun and make children think. If there was one thing that I wish was different, I would like the reading passages to be included in the download instead of having to go to the website. It was easy enough to print them out but it would make it simpler if they were included in the download.
To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!