Saturday, March 15, 2014

St. Patrick's Day STEM Lesson

St. Patrick's Day is almost here, so we thought why not turn one of our FUN activities into a STEM lesson! Our county  has put a HUGE emphasis on creating lessons that meet the STEM requirements.  (Lessons that integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).  We have even seen STEAM lessons that add the ARTS to that list of requirements.

SOOO...we have been looking at some of our science lessons that we have been tweaking over the years, and many of them fit 3 of the STEM requirements.  All we needed to do was add a component here or there and we had a TON of STEM lessons on our hands.

So here's our St. Patrick's Day plan.  We always have the kiddos work with a partner to create a Leprechaun Trap.  We either set the traps the night before St. Patrick's Day or we set them after the little guy has come and done some mischief in our room.  Since St. Patrick's Day is on a Monday this year, we plan on setting them once we see he has crashed our room.

So...the plan!

Step 1:  The kiddos will work with a partner to plan, design, and build their Leprechaun Trap using classroom materials.  (This covers the ENGINEERING portion.)  They will record their plan on the sheet below.

Step 2:  We will evaluate each other's traps and talk about what we think may or may not work.  We will use terms such as longer, shorter, heavier, lighter, materials used, 5 senses (will he smell the gold candy coins you left for him...).  This will support the ENGINEERING portion and add in the MATH and SCIENCE portions as well.

Step 3:  We will take pictures of our traps.  (This is the 1st part of the TECHNOLOGY portion.)

Step 4:  We will wait!  Will we catch a Leprechaun?

Step 5:  We will check the traps the following day.  Were some of them sprung?  Did we catch a Leprechaun?  We will discuss our traps and talk about why we think they DID or DID not work.

Step 6:  We will choose 1 or 2 trap photographs to put into an Activboard flipchart.  We will then make notes on the photo of design changes we could make that may have made the trap more effective.  (This will really hit the TECHNOLOGY part right on the money and we will revisit ALL the other components too.)

Here's the Trap Design sheet we will be using!

You can find the trap design sheet and other St. Patrick's Day goodies in our 

And if you need a FUN game for St. Patrick's Day, 
you might want to grab our FREE CCVC Leprechaun Leap Game!

We hope you have a great weekend and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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