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STEM and Fairy Tales
Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:27 AM
Looking for ways to integrate STEM into your curriculum? We just wrote a blog about integrating engineering and fairy tales that might be helpful at your grade level. The ideas would actually work for just about any story or novel, but we happen to love using. fairy tales.
Get Caught Engineering
1445 Activity Points
Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:58 PM
I love this idea, especially to really get girls involved in STEM!
Natalie Van Amstel
1165 Activity Points
Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:09 AM
I think that is a great way to integrate reading into STEM. Last year, my 2nd graders were learning about the five regions of Georgia. So I used a lesson plan from the Busy Librarian regarding the Fourth Little Pig. The problem was the students had to determine the best region for the 4th little pig (cousin to the Three Little Pigs). Students had to explain why they chose the region for their pig and build a house of various classroom materials (tissue paper, construction paper, clay, tape, foil, popsicle sticks, straws, etc.). The materials were priced and they could not go over their budget. One part of the room was set up with the materials called STEM Depot. The only constraint on the STEM activity was that they had to stay within their $20 budget. Afterwards, students built their houses as a group. The writing piece came in when they advertised their house via Power Point or some other multimedia. Then the Big Bad Wolf attempted to blow their house down (blow dryer). The kids loved this activity!
815 Activity Points
Mon Nov 02, 2015 10:00 PM
Having kids solve the characters problems by building them a solution is such a great way for them to develop their STEM skills. It teaches them how to figure something out and think spatially and also how to put different materials together and distribute weight and angles. I will definitely be using this in my classroom. Thank you so much for the idea!
415 Activity Points
Sat Feb 06, 2016 6:25 PM
I really like this idea, especially for primary grades. At the end of the year we do a fractured fairy tale unit and I can definitely see how incorporating STEM could definitely bring a new twist to the unit. We could pick a specific fairy tale, for example, Cinderella, and, dividing students into groups, create different ways the prince could have saved her with the materials around him, trees, leaves, rocks, etc. My idea wheels are already turning! Thanks!
1100 Activity Points
Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:08 PM
I absolutely love this idea! I am currently a pre-service teacher and am looking at ways to incorporate science and engineering into my lesson plans. This is such a neat idea and I can really see students being engaged in this lesson!
190 Activity Points
Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:41 PM
I love this idea! I have to plan and teach a lesson for my language arts methods class, and I'm going to see if I can do this. My kids love integration between topics, and tend to find connections on their own. It makes sense to facilitate this for them, especially in such a fun way.
755 Activity Points
Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:23 PM
I really like the fairy tell idea. It is always important to make connections across various subject areas. Also it can help take a concept that may be harder for little ones to understand and put it in more relevant terms.
830 Activity Points
Thu Apr 07, 2016 7:50 PM
This is an awesome .. I have three sisters who teach the younger kids and shared with them...thanks
4415 Activity Points
Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:13 PM
What an Awesome Idea! I really love the website....a great resource!
370 Activity Points
Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:28 AM
What a great way to use a topic that will draw the students interest! I also believe that this will increase girls interest in science and STEM activities.
1270 Activity Points
Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:17 AM
I love this site. I am an early childhood education student, about to begin my senior year/student teaching. Every year on campus we try to host a fall STEM Day and a spring STEM Day for an area elementary school. a couple of years ago we designed one of the STEM nights around the theme "Girls Just Wanna Have STEM". This would be a great girls night STEM idea to try this year. Thanks for the post!
595 Activity Points
Tue Jul 12, 2016 11:00 AM
Thank you for sharing the site!
1820 Activity Points
Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:21 PM
I love the idea of thinking about the "before" and "after" of fairy tales!
540 Activity Points
Fri Sep 02, 2016 9:08 AM
Thank you for sharing your blog. This is an excellent idea. I've enjoying exploring your website too!
3500 Activity Points
Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:28 AM
I think this is a great idea and great material! I believe that it will really engage girls within the classroom to become more interested in science, as well, rather than the bias that only boys like science.
180 Activity Points
Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:15 PM
That is a great site! We are writing curriculum for a piloted program this year for 4th grade doing just this. We don't just stick to fairy tales though. We look for non-fiction books as well to create that connection between literature, science, math, technology, and engineering.
63735 Activity Points
Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:58 AM
Awesome! I never thought to use fairytales with STEM. I love the idea though, I think it is a great way to get the students interested and engaged; I mean who doesn't love fairytales. The girls will definitely love it, and I think the boys would be into it as well. Thank you for the idea!
2970 Activity Points
Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:11 PM
What a fantastic idea! I love the engineering ideas to solve the problems for the characters in the stories!! I shared this with my assistant principal who is trying to help teachers integrate more STEM thinking in their lessons. Thank you!!
5570 Activity Points
Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:29 AM
1135 Activity Points
Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:25 PM
There are many way to cross curriculums using PBL's!
2115 Activity Points
Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:42 PM
I agree. This is a great idea to get everyone in your school involved in Science education, not just the Science teacher. This could easily be used as a building wide Science day.
915 Activity Points
Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:42 PM
1155 Activity Points
Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:56 PM
Wow, such an interesting idea. I love it! This is why education is amazing. Such creative people putting together wonderful ideas. I'm definitely going to look more into this.
725 Activity Points
Fri May 01, 2015 1:10 AM
This is an interesting concept and very approachable. Thank you for sharing
325 Activity Points
Sat May 02, 2015 6:03 PM
How creative. Thank you for sharing this.
495 Activity Points
Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:52 PM
I love this idea! I will be using this in my class this year.
1475 Activity Points
Fri Aug 07, 2015 1:07 PM
Very interesting idea, and am excited to use in my classroom!! Thank you for sharing!!
680 Activity Points
Fri Aug 07, 2015 10:43 PM
I love it also. I'm going to have a "Girls in Engineering" group after school and this will be perfect!
1330 Activity Points
Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:20 PM
Thanks so much for sharing! This is a really great idea that can engage and motivate students. I never would've thought of anything like this, but now that I've seen your post, I know that I will definitely incorporate fairy tales into my teaching (when I start teaching, that is--I'm still in college at the moment)! Letting students choose which problem to solve, instead of asking every child to come up with a solution for the same problem, is also a great idea since it'll allow the children to pick one that specifically interests them. It also might be a good idea to occasionally ask them to come up with their own problems, which they would then have to solve. For example, instead of asking them to create an elevator for Rapunzel, a teacher could ask them which fairy tale character they think needs help, and ask them what that character needs. Thanks again for sharing!!
1955 Activity Points
Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:33 PM
Thanks for sharing your Fourth Little Pig activity! I am a Senior working towards my Bachelors in ECE. I already have my AA degree in Theater and Speech in which I love. I am glad to see how drama can be used to help students approach learning in a fun & creative way. Thanks again. I bet you had fun too?
425 Activity Points
Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:39 PM
What a great idea!! I think it would really help to engage the primary elementary grades in STEM, as well as the girls!
455 Activity Points
Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:32 PM
This blog is very interesting and I love the idea that the students are able to use their imagination and problem solving skills. Such a great STEM activity!
1640 Activity Points
Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:03 PM
This is definitely a cool idea! This taps more into their schema and would eventually help them add the new information. It is familiar to the students. The more the students can relate to something, the more engaging it is for them. Once students are engaged, they are set for learning!
375 Activity Points
Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:39 PM
Love this idea! Thank you so much for sharing.
710 Activity Points
Thu Dec 03, 2015 5:44 PM
I think this is a fabulous idea to integrate STEM in the classroom, it incorporates reading and provides a common experience to the children making it meaningful to all of them. This idea also helps develop the different habits of mind, as they pose questions, think flexibly, create and imagine, etc… I will definitely try this out.
3620 Activity Points
Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:35 PM
I think it is great that students ideas and opinions are heard in the classroom. Everyone should feel like they are contributing in the classroom.
1015 Activity Points
Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:13 PM
Lakeshore has STEM kits based on Fairytales. Has anyone tried them?
1515 Activity Points
Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:25 AM
I love this idea! Such a good way to integrate STEM into something kids already love and further develop excitement about the topic.
305 Activity Points
Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:11 PM
Y'all this is way cool! I can definitely implement some of these ideas into my own science/literature/writing curriculum!
220 Activity Points
Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:40 PM
I think this is a fun and creative way to work from the students interests and at the same time not start from scratch. It is fun for the students and these activities align with the standards as well. It gets kids thinking outside the box with stories that are familiar to them, but being able to create new ideas on top of that.
10 Activity Points
Sun Jan 24, 2016 4:12 PM
Wow! My kids would love this activity. Thanks for sharing! They will be having so much fun that they won't realize they are doing math and science!! Whoohooo! That's what it's all about!
1260 Activity Points
Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:50 PM
Wow, what a fantastic lesson. I love how many different concepts are covered in it!
815 Activity Points
Fri Feb 12, 2016 10:10 AM
I love any idea that integrates science with literacy, especially for young kids. I have worked at many child-centered programs where the curriculum is based on the students' interests. With there being so much popularity surrounding fairy tales, I think you did a great job highlighting the importance of connecting curriculum to students' interest to make their learning more meaningful.
In college, while taking a class on women studies, we looked at how fairy tales portray women as needing saving. I love your lessons because it gives the girls, who are especially drawn to fairy tales, to be the engineering problem-solvers. We need all kids to grow up with a strong science and engineering practice foundation, so they can apply those same critical thinking and problem-solving skills to real-world problems on a larger scale.
"One of the things that I really strongly believe in is that we need to have more girls interested in math, science, and engineering. We've got half the population that is way underrepresented in those fields and that means that we've got a whole bunch of talent...not being encouraged the way they need to." - President Barack Obama, February 2013
11190 Activity Points
Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:25 PM
Agreed. A major component of fairy tales is the lack of ability that women have on their own end to save themselves.
One thing that I think could enhance this project even more in that respect is to not have students emulate new ways for the prince to save the princess, as in the Sleeping Beauty and Enchanted Engineering Problem (https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Sleeping-Beauty-...-1850753). Let's have Sleeping Beauty figure out a way to build her own platform bridge!
A seemingly nitpicky point, but if we're encouraging empowerment of our students, let's teach them that they don't need to necessarily emulate male characters to be powerful.
Additionally, I have done a fairy tale unit (not STEM-related) with students before, and my boys loved it; they had a blast writing their own fairy tale stories. I think it really depends on how it is framed. I had the class read The Paper Bag Princess (https://www.amazon.com/Paper-Bag-Princess-Robert-Munsch/dp/0920236251) together, and they were all stoked to take ownership of their tales after.
30 Activity Points
Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:14 PM
This is a free online resource that may be helpful for connecting STEM and fairy tales.
85 Activity Points
Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:29 PM
Thank you so much for posting my resource! I'm glad you're finding it helpful!
460 Activity Points
Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:30 PM
The fourth pig STEM project sounds like an exciting and interesting way to help engage the students in their learning. Having the children thinking deeper is something that I'm struggling with this year with my group. They are not wanting to think beyond "is that the right answer" :(
185 Activity Points
Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:20 PM
This is a great idea. I have never thought about incorporating fairy tales and STEM. Students can create alternative solution to fairy tales. Math can also be incorporated by using the story characters. They can engineer the stories house or setting using only a few resources provided by the teacher. Great forum!
915 Activity Points
Sat Apr 16, 2016 1:05 PM
This is incredibly creative. So many students feel that their either a left brain or a right brain student and will only focus on either STEM or the arts. I feel that when you find a way to combine the two you're inviting all students to give STEM subjects a try.
2180 Activity Points
Mon May 02, 2016 11:46 PM
I love this idea and found it extremely interesting and very different from anything ive ever seen done. I love the engineering problems because it will help get students to use critical thinking skills to solve problems! I would love to give this a try!
3730 Activity Points
Tue May 03, 2016 8:27 PM
Thank you for the suggestion. I'm always looking for innovative STEM ideas.
55 Activity Points
Wed Jun 08, 2016 5:02 AM
What a wonderful way to integrate subjects!
With ELA standards being very rigorous, it is becoming more difficult to create meaningful experiences for students. I am excited to use these ideas in my classroom this year.
755 Activity Points
Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:05 PM
I just finished teaching the Stemulate Camp at UCA and one of my co-teachers taught a fairytale unit. She was able to find many great resources on teacherspayteachers.com to utilize in her class. The students loved how they could connect engineering to fairy tales.
835 Activity Points
Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:48 AM
Thank you. I will check that out.
755 Activity Points
Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:11 PM
I recently came across DIY Holograms with a smart phone on YouTube that could be incorporated into Earth Science lessons. Students can work in pairs or small groups to make holograms that they can use to view 3-D images like the earth and sun, etc. I think this could be an engaging activity.
1410 Activity Points
Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:13 PM
Very cool project. Can't wait to try it. Thanks for posting!
245 Activity Points
Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:49 AM
This is great! I have used STEM Tales with grades k-5...so they are not just for the early grades. I have used them more as an engineering task....design a new bed for Goldilocks so she can visit the bears, design a new tower for Rapunzel now that she has found her prince, etc. I really like this lesson with the fourth pig because it is linked directly to a science standard. You can pull in science and math but also ELA...get those ELA teachers onboard. I will be using the fourth little pig idea this year. LOVE!
570 Activity Points
Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:39 PM
I took part in a STEM day during my sophomore year that incorporated the 3 little pigs into the activity. It was by far one of my most enjoyable and memorable experiences of the day. Students were give a choice between a variety of building materials such as Popsicle sticks, straws etc. and they had to design a house that could withstand the big bad wolf. They had even dressed a large fan up as the wolf and used the fan to test the students designs. The students were engaged and excited throughout the activity and it was truly inspiring the creations they came up with.
785 Activity Points
Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:11 PM
You activity sounds very similar to the one I did. I did it with varied ages so the results varied....but all students were engaged and excited to test their houses. It waas amazing to see what great constructions the kindergarten students built. Our Big Bad Wolf was a decorated hair dryer. : - )
570 Activity Points
Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:06 AM
I love this idea. I will definitely keep it mind when teaching my students next year. Can't wait!
1050 Activity Points
Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:12 PM
Such an interesting idea! I love this!
590 Activity Points
Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:10 PM
That's a really good idea! I like how you broke down STEM into something simpler that all students can relate to. Most students enjoy fairy tales and if you can incorporate fairy tales into science than that can lead the way for a love of science as well as so many more potential scientists!
Grace Ann Burr
855 Activity Points
Tue Nov 01, 2016 11:16 AM
I think that this is a wonderful idea! I think that incorporating fairy tales into a STEM lesson or unit would be particularly attention grabbing, especially for young girls that typically do not have a strong connection to STEM (at least in classrooms that I have experienced before and from personal experience). One activity I would have the children do would be to write their own fairy tale that incorporated some of the STEM concepts that they had learned over the course of the semester. This would not only qualify as an assessment of their STEM knowledge they have accumulated, but also as a writing assessment.
350 Activity Points
Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:21 PM
I love this idea! I never thought fairy tales and science could go together. There can be a disconnect between engineering or science and girls because of the misconceptions that science is for boys. I think fairy tales could be a great way to help girls make that connections because they would be able to see that we can find a way to include science in different things in life. I like the idea about having students write their own fairy tale and using it to assess students' STEM knowledge.
835 Activity Points
Wed Nov 09, 2016 7:36 PM
What an informative post. When I saw title I was already intrigued. I love the idea of bridging Language Arts and STEM. I think this may be the only way busy teachers can ever hope to fit it all in!
5795 Activity Points
Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:57 PM
I love this idea because it is an example of interdisciplinary teaching! This will always be helpful for students because it helps them make connections. It also helps make these scientific concepts more relevant when they can relate it to a reading/text or lesson that they learned from that fairy tale.
810 Activity Points
Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:04 PM
Wow! those links were very nice and helpful!! I will definitely be referring back to them once i start teaching!
820 Activity Points
Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:08 PM
What a great way to promote STEM activities within lower grade levels!
835 Activity Points
Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:01 PM
Very helpful and such great ideas! will definitely be sharing with my CT and referring back to them once I have my own classroom.
860 Activity Points
Thu Dec 08, 2016 11:53 PM
My school is actually starting this STEM project at school, I think it's a wonderful idea. The students are also so excited when they bring in recycled materials from home. We haven't exactly started yet we are in the process. I can't wait to start and then share my thoughts on it after, but I will share this with my cooperating teacher.
775 Activity Points
Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:22 PM
Keep us posted. We started a STEAM lab last year also. Almost all projects were developed from cereal boxes, toilet paper tubes and odds and ends. Students just want to create and wonder! Good luck!
850 Activity Points
Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:20 PM
Thanks very much for all of the great ideas. I agree that fairy tales and hands-on are a great match for our primary scientists and moving towards non-fiction literature for the upper grades.
850 Activity Points
Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:50 PM
This is such an awesome idea! I think incorporating fairy tales in STEM is a great way to get students interested in science because almost all children are familiar with fairy tales. I think this would definitely help open their imagination.
180 Activity Points
Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:55 PM
I think this idea is very useful as well as it helps bring girls interest into science! We are taught to bring students in with access to what they enjoy and adding fairy tales to curriculum would be a great idea! I love it! STEM would benefit from this point of view so much! Great Idea!
685 Activity Points
Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:45 PM
An easy way to integrate STEM into any subject matter is to have students read a storybook and design a solution to a problem one of the characters in the story has faced. Students can read books that utilize the engineering component in STEM. One way to provide students with the opportunity to explore a real-world scientific problem is to give them a hands-on experience. An appropriate elementary education example would be pollution (science). Ask students what they think they can do as an elementary student to reduce the amount of pollution in their environment. Have them use technology as part of their research or for a resource. Ask complex questions and have students engage in logical reasoning to develop solutions for the real-world problem.
775 Activity Points
Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:59 PM
I really enjoyed this topic. Getting girls involved in STEM! I love it. Having them think about what they would do is a great way to develop multiple perspectives of the subject. Thanks for sharing!
875 Activity Points
Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:38 AM
What a neat idea! I love that science can be incorporated into any subject, that's how all our classes should be. I want to try this when I have my own classroom.
1130 Activity Points
Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:39 AM
Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:09 PM
Do a Google search for Three Little Pigs lesson plans and you will find lots of things in science to do for that Fairy Tale.
48325 Activity Points
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