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Sunday, March 1, 2015

STEM and The Three Billy Goats Gruff

The Three Billy Goats Gruff meets STEM in the Pre-K classroom!
Our objective was to construct a bridge as a class using the children's engineering skills.

Before the lesson: I tore pages out of an old magazine, rolled them up and secured them with tape. That was our material that we would be building with for this lesson.
We began the lesson by posing the question: How could we construct a bridge (like the one in the story) using our building materials and what else would we need to meet our goal?

Our steps to building the bridge:

First, I had the children brainstorm and shout out ideas which I listed on a piece of paper.

Second, it was time to do some research. I had copies of many of the local bridges in our area as well famous bridges around the world. We also used an iPad to look up other bridges which we did not have pictures of.
Third, it was time to put our research into practice and sketch out a picture. We sketched one as a group where we took into account the children's favorite bridges and ideas. The children were encouraged to make their own sketches after and try out their bridge idea in the block area.
Fourth, we discussed what we would need to put the bridge together. The children decided on staples and tape. A few wanted to use glue but the other children reminded them of how long glue takes to dry so they consented to tape as well. I just love when they learn and problem solve with their peers.
Fifth, I had the children go to their learning centers and called the children over two at a time to work on the construction of the bridge. Every child in the class had a chance to help build the bridge.
Sixth, it was time to test out the final product by a story retelling with our puppets. I love to mix STEM with storytelling to make sure I'm reaching all of my young learners.
Extension activities: The children were encouraged to use the bridge for the rest of the week throughout the various learning centers in the classroom.
In the block center children were invited to add blocks, cars, and make their own bridges. In the library area children were invited to use puppets and conduct their own story retellings in small groups or independently. In the dramatic play center children used it to put themselves into the story and cross the bridge just like the goats. In the art center children were encouraged to draw a picture of the bridge. In the science center the children were invited to test the weight and durability of the bridge and in the math area children were invited to count how many pieces were needed to put our bridge together.

Trip trap, trip trap went the bridge...
happy learning! : )
Check out our Three Little Pigs meets STEM here or more Three Billy Goats Gruff activities here.

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