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STEM and Fairy Tales

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Wendy Goldfein Wendy Goldfein 2075 Points

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. http://www.getcaughtengineering.com/enchanted-engineering/ Wendy Get Caught Engineering

Natalie Van Amstel Natalie Van Amstel 1165 Points

I love this idea, especially to really get girls involved in STEM!

Wanda McRae-Jones Wanda McRae-Jones 1060 Points

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!

Jennifer Clark Jennifer Clark 415 Points

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! 

Stephanie Dempsey Stephanie Dempsey 1100 Points

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!

Maya Alkhazshvilly Maya Alkhazshvilly 190 Points

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! 

Hannah Johnston Hannah Johnston 755 Points

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. 

Dallas Aguilar Dallas Aguilar 840 Points

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.

Kimberley Leahey Kimberley Leahey 4415 Points

This is an awesome .. I have three sisters who teach the younger kids and shared with them...thanks

Thomas Pemberton Thomas Pemberton 370 Points

What an Awesome Idea!  I really love the website....a great resource!  

Brooke Copeland Brooke Copeland 1270 Points

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.

Nichole Shady Nichole Shady 595 Points

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!

Laura Pokrajac Laura Turek 1820 Points

Awesome! Thank you for sharing the site!

Natasha Williams Natasha Athey 540 Points

I love the idea of thinking about the "before" and "after" of fairy tales!

Susan Phillips Susan Phillips 3500 Points

Thank you for sharing your blog. This is an excellent idea. I've enjoying exploring your website too!

Brittney Larry Brittney Larry 180 Points

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.

Pamela Dupre Pamela Dupre 92349 Points

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.

Alexis Martinez Alexis Martinez 2970 Points

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!

Olivia Meincke Olivia Meincke 3754 Points

This is a great idea to getting STEM into the classroom. Since the idea of STEM is somewhat a new idea i'm glad this shows how easily it can be incorporated. I also like how this activity can be used with many different books or novels so as a teacher you don't have to struggle to get a specific book.

Anne Schexnayder Anne Schexnayder 200 Points

I love this idea! I think it is a great way to engage students with STEM, especially young girls. Thank you for this resource! I am a pre-service teacher with a focus in STEM, so this is an excellent resource for me to look to as I begin thinking about writing my own lessons.

Aundria Rogers Aundria Rogers 590 Points

I think my class will have so much fun learning about Engineering and Fairy Tales if given the chance to bring it "alive" through hands-on learning and technology. STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and enables the next generation of innovators! I believe that these STEM lessons will help my students become innovators, researchers, scientists and leaders!

Joselyn Hermoso Joselyn Hermoso 785 Points

Thanks for sharing this....I like the new "enchanted"roles that they will portray in the classroom as collaborative learners. Definitely the girls will love this idea. Joselyn

Jessica Lopez Jessica Lopez 400 Points

I think this would be great to use. I believe that STEM needs to be expanded for our younger students and what better way than to incorporate engineering and fairy tales into the lesson. It's hands on and fun. Even though I'm student teaching currently in the fourth grade classroom, I can see myself using some of these activities with my older students who are kinesthetic learners.

Erin Scroggin Erin Scroggin 3185 Points

This is such a great idea to get literature intertwined with STEM. Also, with the statistics showing females have more of a lack of interest in STEM subjects than males, this is a great way to get girls interested!!

Miranda Hansen Miranda Hansen 2574 Points

I am currently a junior at the University of Northern Iowa and I am loving these ideas about fairytales and STEM! My elementary school was big on STEM when I was in high school so I am excited to see what I can do to integrate STEM into my future classroom. The fourth little pig and the Cinderella idea sound awesome! The blog is well written and has many great points supporting fairytales and engineering! I will use this resource in the future!

An Vu An Vu 370 Points

Hello Wendy, This is such an awesome idea, definitely a must check since I am in a reading classroom during testing season and all the kids are exposed to each and every day is a drill and kill method of reviewing. Hopefully I can use this in my future classroom to integrate STEM and make reading fun and relevant again. An Vu

Megan Bradburn Megan Bradburn 515 Points

Wendy, I absolutely loved the article. I think as educators, we often forget that kids can use their imagination in science as well! Imagination is not only for the art or music room. I think it is wonderful that there is a way to let their creativity shine through an amazing subject. As a student teacher, I do notice that sometimes we (educators) get so caught up in teaching them right from wrong that we forget that they have an imagination and creative juices that need to flow every once in a while! A question I am pondering is; how often would you recommend using this in the classroom? Would this count as a warm-up or hook activity before the lesson? Or a fun Friday type play? I would love to incorporate this into my future classroom as a STEM activity. Best, Megan Bradburn

Luz Alonzo Luz Alonzo 380 Points

Thank you so much for sharing. I love the fact that we are combining two learning's in one. Both of these were my favorite as a child and I would be incorporating more of the STEM activities into my lessons. This makes me excited because the students at any age enjoy building, and making spontaneous things that allows their creativity and learning to expand. Plus, it allows all students to be engage allowing them to relate their learning's ( fairy tales/novels) to STEM. Thank you for sharing.

Claudia Quiroz Claudia Duca 780 Points

Hi Wendy! I am a student teacher from the University of Houston. I did not know what STEM was and I just recently learned about it. Although I understand more about STEM I am still not sure how it could be incorporated in the classroom. Specially now when some schools are getting rid of science to spend more time with reading/writing and math. Seeing your post and the link you shared helped me understand that I was overthinking it, and that STEM can be incorporated in multiple subjects. Thank you for sharing! Seeing the examples from the link helped me understand what STEM means. It really has some great ideas!

Toneka Bussey Toneka Bussey 1928 Points

This is a great idea to get the students interested!

Mackenzie Jobe Mackenzie Jobe 210 Points

I love this idea! Incorporating reading/books with STEM lessons is a great way to get teachers who may be intimidated by STEM concepts to teach it through books. Most teachers are more comfortable with literacy, so this would be a great idea for those trying to teach more STEM in the classroom!

Reagan Bryant Reagan Bryant 180 Points

I love this idea!  There are so many different ways to incorporate fairy tales into STEM and so many different ways to make it interesting for all of your students.  There are also so many ways to incorporate it into your specific grade level.  This would be such a great way to make students want to learn these concepts!

Mark Parker Mark Parker 2525 Points

Thanks for sharing this information! I bookmarked the page and will definitely check it out more in depth. I'm looking forward to trying some of these ideas!!!!

Jamison Bowlds Jamison Bowlds 1196 Points

This is an awesome way to make a cross curricular lesson! This will also allow the students who have more interest in reading than science to become more interested!

Emily Faulconer Emily Faulconer 4975 Points

When I tried the link it did not work. I think I found a working link here: http://www.getcaughtengineering.com/enchanted-engineering/ 

Zoe Farris Zoe Farris 505 Points

Oh wow, this is so creative!  I'm currently studying to be a teacher and am learning about so many different strategies.  I absolutely love this idea and it sounds like a lot of fun.  Thank you!

Brielle Davis Brielle Davis 420 Points

Hi Wendy! STEM is a great aspect to incorporate into the curcculum. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM is important because it pervades every part of our lives. STEM activities provide hands-on and minds-on lessons for the student. Making math and science both fun and interesting helps the student to do much more than just learn

Amanda Robin amanda robin 1395 Points

Thank you so much for this link!  This is a great idea for the lower grades. 

Robin Willig Robin Willig 5625 Points

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!!

Reenee Palacios Reenee Palacios 1135 Points

Thank you!

Carmen Cruz Carmen Cruz 2125 Points

There are many way to cross curriculums using PBL's!

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.

Shohani Islam Shohani Islam 1155 Points

Great idea!

Macaulay Snyder Macaulay Snyder 725 Points

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.

KRISTEN TROLINGER KRISTEN TROLINGER 325 Points

This is an interesting concept and very approachable. Thank you for sharing

Hannah Chacon Hannah Chacon 495 Points

How creative. Thank you for sharing this.

Melanie Sanders Melanie Sanders 1475 Points

I love this idea! I will be using this in my class this year.

Maryanne DallaValle Maryanne DallaValle 680 Points

Very interesting idea, and am excited to use in my classroom!! Thank you for sharing!!

Christine Bedwell Christine Bedwell 1605 Points

I love it also. I'm going to have a "Girls in Engineering" group after school and this will be perfect!

Brittany Vogel Brittany 1965 Points

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!!

Gwendolyn Quinn Gwendolyn Quinn 425 Points

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?

Melissa Oakes Melissa Oakes 455 Points

What a great idea!! I think it would really help to engage the primary elementary grades in STEM, as well as the girls!

Stephanie Rodriguez Stephanie Rodriguez 1640 Points

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! 

Sara Reyna Sara Reyna 375 Points

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!

Stewart Byrd Emily Giesinger 710 Points

Love this idea! Thank you so much for sharing. 

Cristina Benavides Cristina Benavides 3620 Points

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. 

Adriana Castillo Adriana Castillo 1015 Points

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. 

Lauren Allen Lauren Thompson 1625 Points

Lakeshore has STEM kits based on Fairytales.  Has anyone tried them?

Monica Pelayo Monica Pelayo 305 Points

I love this idea! Such a good way to integrate STEM into something kids already love and further develop excitement about the topic. 

Pamela Kling Pamela Kling 220 Points

Y'all this is way cool!  I can definitely implement some of these ideas into my own science/literature/writing curriculum!

Rebecca Manning Rebecca Manning 10 Points

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.

Maxine Dibert Maxine Dibert 1345 Points

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!

Nicholas Morrow Nicholas Morrow 825 Points

Wow, what a fantastic lesson. I love how many different concepts are covered in it!

Alison Wright Alison Thalmann 16420 Points

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

Jessica Bonnar Jessica Bonnar 50 Points

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.

Callie Cook Callie Cook 714 Points

I really appreciate your thought process on having women being the engineers of the fairytales. It is true most fairytales present women as the damsel in distress. The idea of tying STEM to them especially empowers women more in the classroom. It is important to make sure that everyone feels as if they can do anything within the classroom. It makes the students feel stronger are more accomplished within the class. 

Kristin Thomsen Kristin Thomsen 95 Points

This is a free online resource that may be helpful for connecting STEM and fairy tales. 
http://www.starfisheducation.com/search?q=fairy+tales

Lane Slagle Elana Slagle 460 Points

Kristin, Thank you so much for posting my resource! I'm glad you're finding it helpful! Regards, Elana Elana@StarfishEducation.com

Laura Cameron Laura Cameron 185 Points

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" :(

Neyra Hanley Neyra Hanley 915 Points

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! 

Genevieve Remy Genevieve Remy 2180 Points

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. 

Ana Rosell Ana Rosell 3730 Points

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!

Sandra Behrens Sandra Behrens 55 Points

Thank you for the suggestion. I'm always looking for innovative STEM ideas.

Melissa Manning Melissa Manning 755 Points

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.

Amber Peck Amber Peck 835 Points

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.

Melissa Manning Melissa Manning 755 Points

Thank you. I will check that out.

Stacy Mullings Stacy Mullings 1410 Points

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. S. Mullings

Sydney Schuler Sydney Schuler 275 Points

Very cool project. Can't wait to try it. Thanks for posting!

Lisa Ledford Lisa Ledford 570 Points

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!

Angela West Angela West 785 Points

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.

Lisa Ledford Lisa Ledford 570 Points

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. : - )

Melanie McGill Melanie McGill 3310 Points

That activity sounds like a phenomenal activity for students that would definitely keep them engaged throughout. Thank you for sharing.

Callie Cook Callie Cook 714 Points

I have never had any experience with a stem project like this, but I can see how it would be more engaging for the students! It is a very simple activity but really makes them think about all the different pieces that go in to something. I also like that it adds a competitive nature for the children. A lot of children have a competitive nature and this will help add to their intrest in the activity. 

Amy Villanueva Amy Villanueva 1050 Points

I love this idea. I will definitely keep it mind when teaching my students next year. Can't wait!

Katelyn Brown Katelyn Brown 600 Points

Such an interesting idea! I love this!

Grace Ann Burr Grace Ann Burr 855 Points

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!

Bridget Simmons Bridget Simmons 355 Points

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.

Araceli Venturini Araceli Venturini 835 Points

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.

Cara Cook Cara Cook 5795 Points

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!

Huda Adnan Huda Adnan 820 Points

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.

Lorena Solis Lorena Solis 820 Points

Wow! those links were very nice and helpful!! I will definitely be referring back to them once i start teaching!

Karmen Jones Karmen Jones 835 Points

What a great way to promote STEM activities within lower grade levels!

Kelly Davila Kelly Davila 860 Points

Very helpful and such great ideas! will definitely be sharing with my CT and referring back to them once I have my own classroom.

Yoksiana Zacarias yoksiana zacarias 775 Points

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.

Debbie Mabry Debbie Mabry 850 Points

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!

Debbie Mabry Debbie Mabry 850 Points

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.

Marissa Reyes Marissa Reyes 180 Points

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.

Ashley Lindemann Ashley Lindemann 915 Points

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!

Laura Respondek Laura Respondek 915 Points

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.

Jessica Tamez Jessica Tamez 975 Points

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!

Sarah Estakhri Sarah Estakhri 1400 Points

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.

Betty Paulsell Betty Paulsell 48560 Points

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.

Ayda Parra Ayda Parra 1066 Points

This is really an interesting idea to involve Fairy Tale lovers! mostly, because right now there are several spinoffs of famous stories in Language Arts It would be great to combine science and LA with this topic.

Avory Abordonado Avory Abordonado 485 Points

Great idea in integrating language arts with Science! Especially for those who always trying to juggle their instruction times of different subjects. Besides fairy tales, did anyone try any engineering ideas with Fables? For example, Aesop's Fables?

Janice Noguchi Janice Noguchi 615 Points

I love using Fairy Tales for all subjects. Some great idea on TPT site. Using FT with upper grades is great for developing writing as well as applying Science. Thank you all for sharing.

Kristie Devers Kristie Devers 1365 Points

I am always looking for creative and inventive ways for students to develop their writing skills in my 7th grade writing class. This sound like a wonderful idea. I can see an expository writing in here too! The kids will love this.

Betty Paulsell Betty Paulsell 48560 Points

Here is a handout that I use in a class on integrating literature and science. It has several books that are related to various science topics.

Jennifer Cambray Jennifer Cambray 105 Points

Margaret Purtell Margaret Purtell 375 Points

What a great idea! This is something I would like to incorporate into my future classroom since the students can become so connected through the story line to the content across multiple areas. Do you have any suggestion on literature to incorporate for middle school students?

Donna Harkrider Donna Harkrider 453 Points

What a fantastic resource! Thank you so much for sharing!

Donna Harkrider Donna Harkrider 453 Points

What a fantastic resource! Thank you so much for sharing!

Tatiana Santana Tatiana Santana 980 Points

This was very interesting! Thank you guys for sharing!!!

Katie Irvine Katie Irvine 645 Points

These lesson ideas are such a great way to integrate literacy and STEM to make them both fun! I know the students would be very excited about these kinds of activities and that they could be adapted to nearly any story and/or subject. Giving students these opportunities to be creative is what STEM is all about.

Rachel Stuckey Rachel Stuckey 60 Points

I love the way that this integrates STEM ideas cross-curricularly through Fairy Tales. It also brings engineering and nonfiction into the world of fiction, which could appeal to those students who love fantasy and fiction reading. I really like the problem-solving aspect of this idea as well as it can easily be incorporated to NGSS standards. Overall, this is such an awesome lesson foundation!

This was a good article to read and it can provide an avenue for interdisciplinary work between ELA and Science or art in science. For example, the students can read the fairytales or review it in ELA. They can make predictions and or inferences, then in science think critically of what they can create to solve the problem. In art, they can design the tool and actually build it in science, whether with lego mindstorm or even 3D printing. The possibilities are limitless.

I like the idea of including girls in STEM, but since I teach special education, self-contained students, mostly boys, I'm wondering how to include them in the conversation.

Idania Caceres Idania Caceres 2185 Points

I absolutely love this idea. It is a great way of incorporating literature into science or vice versa. There is so much one can do with the combination of STEM and literature. I love the idea that it is fairy tales, that is generally geared towards girls and engineering, which is, unfortunately, geared towards boys. Like this, everyone is interested. It does not necessarily have to be a fairy tale. For those who have older students you can use the Harry Potter series. For example one can do slime or "magic" potions. For the Thee Little Pigs the students can build homes that will be able to stay up when the very bad wolf (blow dryer) comes to blow the house down. Thank you for your post and sharing the link, I look forward to integrating this into my future classroom!

Brenda Velasco Mizenko Brenda Velasco 2695 Points

Literacy can be tied into STEM very easily! When I taught 4th grade we would do a Cinderella unit where the students had to create the pumpkin carriage. The students had to use measurement skills to create it. We used art materials but never a real pumpkin (for expenses sake on my part!) but it would be really cool to give each student or maybe group students together with real pumpkins-maybe the mini ones to use in their STEM project as well.

Vivian Del Cid Vivian Del Cid 3265 Points

I'm a really big fan of everything STEM! Since my children were little I've looked for ways to engage them in STEM, and one of my sons is a huge bookworm. Integrating fairytales not only helps pull in those students that might not be at first very interested in STEM, it also helps attract the youngest of students. I had never considered attaching fairy tales to STEM, but the idea of the children creating a pumpkin carriage for Cinderella is amazing. For children in older elementary school grades they could even dabble in robotics and let their creativity run free while they engineer Cinderella's modern carriage!

Jessie Jennings Jessie Jennings 315 Points

I'm a big fan of connecting reading to other subjects because reading is such a fundamental part of learning. Being able to apply science should to solve a problem posed in these stories not only helps develop those skills but reading skills as well. Definitely a great strategy to utilize in the classroom.

Isis Mena Isis Mena 3600 Points

Hi! Thanks for sharing a great idea/resource. I really love this idea; I believe including fairy tales into STEM can make a intimating topics or concepts easier to comprehend for a variety of students. I am a preservice teacher and one of my professors incorporates fairy tales into social studies' concepts most students cannot relate to; such as complex economic terms. In his assignment, the students work in small groups to create their own fairy tale using specific terms provided by the professor. The students must define the terms within the story and share their story with the class but are free to work on the story however they please. It's a great way to review the complex terms with the students and include them in the teaching process.

Elizabeth Fermin Elizabeth Fermin 3950 Points

I believe this is such a unique way to incorporate science in the classroom. I also believe that it is a great activity to spark the interest of females in the science classroom because it integrates a familiar and fun topic with a learning activity. I agree it is a great way to incorporate and review complex terms with students and include them in the teaching process.

Alexis Youngblut Alexis 4151 Points

I taught a unit to a group of 2nd graders last year. This was a matter unit that was aligned with both the NGSS and core literacy standards. I incorporated literacy by reading with them a book about matter and the different changes (reversible & irreversible). Then I had them create a book. They were required to introduce and conclude their book as well as define what a reversible and irreversible change is and then give examples of each of the changes.

Melanie Wollam Melanie Wollam 405 Points

I think incorpoarating STEM and failry tales is a great Idea. I am currently a pre-service teacher and wanting to learn more about how to connect STEM across all subject areas. My students love making connections acorss subject areas so I can see my students being enaged and excited about this during a lesson!

Emily Staska Emily Staska 640 Points

Incorporating STEM and fairy tales into the classroom is a great idea I think especially for the younger grades such as K-2. I am currently a pre-service teacher in a 1st grade classroom and my students love making connections to the real world. Incorporating this would help me learn more about STEM also and connecting it through all content areas. This would be a great idea for my students and I can not wait to learn more about it therefore, I can use it in my future classroom.

Daijah Wiseman Daijah Wiseman 490 Points

I think this is a great idea. I love the combination of fairy tales and STEM. Even though I am currently placed in a language arts classroom, I am always looking for ways to incorporate other content areas. This makes the lesson engaging and hands on. I would be very interested in trying this activity in my classroom.

Fei Zhao fei zhao 200 Points

Love this idea, I think not only girls would like this idea, also boy will do too. I'm a student teacher and I try this in my student teaching class ( 5th grade) those kids love it :) Thank you for sharing.

Kohleen Mendoza Kohleen Mendoza 650 Points

This is such an awesome idea! I would have never thought of combining literature and science together, but it works! I would definitely try this out in class one day!

Karina Gonzalez Karina Gonzalez 6065 Points

I agree with the above post. This concept is such a great way to get girls involved in STEM and to help them acquire and develop a love for science. I really love how you even added different fairy tales as well as possible engineering projects to connect with them. I had never really thought about how fairy tales and folktales are already a part a curriculum, this is such an innovative way to include science and engineering and not take up any extra time. This is the perfect example of how to integrate different content areas together and also meet the interests of all students!

Melissa Deleon Melissa Deleon 740 Points

I think this is an awesome way to integrate your whole class male or female. I know there are boys and girls just itching to figure out solutions to problems, and what a great way to intertwine two or more subjects into the lesson! I am glad I came across this idea!

Nikki Beyer Nikki Beyer 1195 Points

I really enjoyed this idea involving engineering into fairy tales.  I also think that this could be done with resources that teachers already have in their classroom or in the school.  It can bring to life those fairy tales and students get to get their imaginiations flowing.  Thanks for the post and link to the website.

Alyssa Schulte Alyssa Schulte 2305 Points

I LOVE the idea of using fairy tales and STEM. This would be an excellent way to bring fairy tales to life! A lot of fairy tales have things that students could design and build themselves--I'm thinking about a "how to build the tallest Rapunzel tower" activity in my future.

Kelly Chung Kelly Chung 590 Points

Wow, fairy tales and STEM! What a creative way to integrate STEM and literacy. I think combining any type of literacy would make STEM more fun and exciting! I do believe that Fairy Tales will get a lot of the girls attention and be a bit more involved with STEM since they are trying to involve more girls. I can definitely see myself using this concept in my future classroom. It's almost like two birds with one stone. Having literacy and STEM bleed into each other would higher their knowledge in multiple concepts at a time! I can see myself doing all types of fairy tales involving STEM. For example, Robin Hood and Mathmatics, being able to account for what he stole from the rich and return to the poor. I also like the idea that Alyssa Schulte posted about Rapunzel and how they could be building their own towers!  

Katherine Plucinski Katherine Plucinski 305 Points

I love this idea of combining STEM and language arts together! I think that this could be used in any classroom level. It is fun, informative, and switches up the pace of the class! Although it is not a fairytale, this sparked a thought that I could use the children's book, "Tadpole's Promise" to help illustrate metamorphosis. 

Paula Yarbour Paula Yarbour 1360 Points

I absolutely love this!! This is perfect for all grades but I think that this could be very helpful for stelf contained teachers in the primary grades. I attended a session wheb I was at an NSTA conference about STEM bags that go home. The baggies have just random stuff in them that the teachers pull from their cabinets. Example: popsicle sticks, rubber bands, paper clips ect. The students are given a stem challenge to complete at home and then they have to take a picture of thier build and email it to the teacher. I think this would be great because the book the student takes home for their 20 min a night reading could be the fairy tale and then the science homework could be the stem challenge. This would intergrate the students homework together and the contents. I think the students would be excited to read thier story at home and then complete their challenge.

Brianna Parker Brianna Parker 235 Points

Connecting these two things is awesome! One classroom I was completing my hours in was learning about fairy tales and folk tales, specifically The Three Little Pigs. The teacher divided the class into 3 groups. One group had to make a house of sticks (popsicle sticks), one group made a house of straw (drinking straws), and the orher house was made of bricks (legos). This allowed children to build using their own ideas and group work was key. 

Isabel Mosley Isabel Mosley 190 Points

I really like this idea, especially being in a school that focuses primarily on literacy rather than STEM, this is a good way to combine the too while still having fun!

Brittan Bresnahan Brittan Bresnahan 200 Points

That sounds like a great idea. I would love to learn how to integrate fairytales into stem education, this is something that really fascinates me. It sounds like a fun and interactive way to engage students as well as helping them learn. 

Brittan Bresnahan Brittan Bresnahan 200 Points

How is connecting fairytales and literacy with STEM education beneficial?

Julienne Buendia Julienne Buendia 535 Points

I love reading this article! I read lots of fiction and fairytales with my students. It would be great for my students to become a problem solver in the story. I want to implement this in my classroom!

After researching about STEM in the community, I came across this post about Enchanted Engineering and loved reading the post. I like the idea of combining fairytales to solve the problems for the characters by the use of STEM innovations. I would like to implement STEM in my classroom by planning a field trip to the Museum of Natural Science or the Children’s Museums on days that they have events related to STEM careers. Just as the fairy tales and STEM connection, I would ask students to identify any problems that people or objects from our past might have encountered and how could they help them with the use of STEM. After identifying a problem, students must find a solution that involves STEM and present to the class at the end of the lesson. 

Nicole Heckman Nicole Heckman 875 Points

This is a great way to get all students involved in STEM! My third graders have really enjoyed the Land of Stories series and I think this STEM and Fairy Tales would be a great interdisciplinary activity. 

Celine Nardi Celine Nardi 210 Points

I am learning about using narratives to incorproate STEM education in my classroom, so this will help me greatly. Thank you!

Rachel Rippee Rachel Rippee 200 Points

I think this is a great way to incorperate the literacy component into STEM education in the classroom. I think by pairing a fairytale with a STEM project students' have a higher comprehension of what they are doing in both the STEM and literacy aspects of the lesson. Love this blog!

Angela Schroader Angela Schroader 180 Points

Integrating literacy and STEM project-based learning is an effective way to promote critical thinking skills while reinforcing literacy skills. The popularity of fairy tales also lends itself well to extension activities.

Rebecca Woods Rebecca Woods 180 Points

I believe that integrating literacy into STEM is such an effective way to introduce problem-solving! I have recently been introdcued (again) to the design loop and how to use this to promote critical thinking! By using a simple storyline to introduce a problem, students can create the best solution! This will definitely be used in my future classroom, thank you for more literacy ideas!

 
 
 
 

Iona Humphries Iona Humphries 415 Points

Wow! I have never heard of this combination before, but I really do think it’s a great idea. I think it is a wonderful way to get younger children interested in STEM, especially young girls who might not be as encouraged to go into STEM research. This is so great because fairy tales are such an important part of the elementary school curriculum, so adding STEM components to that is a double-win for teachers, I would think! It would also put a little spin on the story which would keep kids interested, as it might not be what they are regularly used to. Thank you for this wonderful idea!

 

 

Jennifer Revelle Jennifer 2065 Points

I love this idea Wendy!! It is amazing when we can teach across multiple curriculums and also to integrate something so fun and simple as fairy tales that majority of our students already know and love. I think this is such a great way to get our young girls interested in science and to apply their thinking skills to somethinf they really enjoy. To have the students solving the problems in the stories by using their own STEM knowledge is so interesting. I can't wait to try this out in my own classroom. Thanks for the advice!!

Sebrina Webster Sebrina Webster 2215 Points

I love this! It's a wonderful way to integrate science and literacy, and it allows us to get in STEM for the day, or even unit! As a pre-service teacher these are the posts i love to stumble upon. This is great to get kids using both sides of their brains at once with logic and creativity. Great idea! 

Megan Hineline Megan Hineline 565 Points

Hi Wendy,

I am currently a pre-service teacher, and this is a great way to incorporate STEM in the elementary classroom, thank you for sharing. I think this would give children a great opportunity to solve problems and get an early start on how to think like an engineer. I wish I had this opportunity when I was in school. I would love to incorporate these ideas in my classroom when I become a teacher.

 

 

 

Jill Williams Jill Williams 1585 Points

I love the idea of bringing Fairy Tales into a STEM lesson.  Several years ago when I taught Kindergarten we had some store bought STEM kits that were Fairy Tales themes and the kids loved them.  I now teach 2nd grade and we still do teach Fairy Tales but now they are learning the characteristics of those genres and even writing their own Fairy Tales.  I would love to have them write their own and extend their story with a STEM activity based on their own characters and "magic" that they come up with.  Thanks for reminding me of this idea of Fairy Tales - it has been a springboard for STEM brainstorming for my classroom!

Samantha Wagner Samantha Wagner 270 Points

I love the fairy tale idea! I think that using literature is an effective way to integrate STEM into the curriculum, especially for primary grade instruction. 

Kayli Obrero Kayli Obrero 205 Points

This is awesome! Thank you for sharing!

Danielle Moss Danielle Moss 560 Points

Hello, 

Thank you so much for this resource because I think that using this idea would be so beneficial for my students with severe and profound disabilities! I love how you used STEM in a way that I never would have even imagined! I am really excited and interested to see how this would look in the classroom!

Thank you, 

Dani

Sandra Cantu Sandra Cantu 190 Points

Hello To All,

I think this a great idea, to connect with the students learning.This is something I  would do as a future teacher.

Sandra Cantu Sandra Cantu 190 Points

Hello To All, 

What are some easy ways  to get studnets in 1st grade involved in a fun learning science experiments?

Carrie Wiggs Carrie Wiggs 150 Points

I think this is an amazing idea! I feel like this is a way to effectively use STEM in younger classrooms that they would relate to more. Thanks for sharing!

Jayla Cruz Jayla Cruz 100 Points

I absolutely love this idea! As a future teacher and current student getting my bachelor's degree in EC-6 education, I love the idea of not only being able to implement STEM in an effective way, but also implementing choices, brainstorming, and presentation. When thinking about STEM; I love the idea of using the Fairy Tale idea and glad I came across it. As someone who loves reading and writing, I love the idea of using a book to help solve a STEM problem. 

To implement STEM in my classroom, I would use the idea of implementing one or more elements to the lesson. I think it is important to find a way to implement all the elements or a combination of them. Students should be allowed to make choices and be wise with their thinking. As an educator, I would be a guide rather than pulling the students through the process.

Anne Lowry Anne Lowry 6750 Points

Intergrating STEM with literature is always something to do.  But let's expand it beyond fairy tales (some of which have cultural backgrounds we would all rather avoid).  Try choosing a class favorite (the one you have to replace, set numbers of turns, etc; there's at least one a year) and pull STEM out of that book.  Not only do you have high student itnerest, it also helps them see that STEM can be found everywhere

Good luck!

Anne

Whitnee Gallaher Whitnee Gallaher 1940 Points

This is a wonderful idea! Adding STEM to the fairy tale unit can really enhance students understanding of the story you are reading. I really loved the part where you give students multiple possible problems to be solved in the story. This would allow students to pick more than one option and to share all of the amazing ideas they come up with! It would be a great way to start introducing discussions into your classroom as well. The students could talk to each other and ask each other questions about their solutions. 

Zach Millan Zach Millan 609 Points

This seems so interesting to incorporate fairy tales into a STEM lesson! My students have always enjoyed writing their own stories on life science topics from the year to share with the class, but I enjoyed that students can see an example of a STEM fairy tale aligned with their grade level.

Mason Gotto Mason Gotto 2640 Points

I think this is a great idea! Combining STEM with a literacy component makes an interdisciplinary curriculum and/or lessons. 

Elisa Calderon Elisa Calderon 1650 Points

I really love this idea of combing fairytales into STEM lessons. It's something that I would've never thought about, but it's so fun and engaging for students! Something that I would've never considered was the fact that fairytales are already in the cirriculum so it integrates a literacy component as well. Anything is possible in fairytales so the idea that using fairytales is great because students could make up anything they wanted in their fairytale they create. 

Paige Morrison Paige Morrison 160 Points

This is such a great way to implement STEM into cross-curricular lessons and units! I am a pre-service, elementary education student at Wartburg College, and I will be student-teaching next semester. I love seeing new ideas like this that could help me find innovative ways to bring STEM deeper into my classroom someday. I think that tying fairy tales into STEM could result in so many opportunities for learning growth in young students. When it comes to these elementary students, they are clinging to the prior connections that they are able to make to their present learning. Many students have been continuously introduced to fairy tales since they were born, so that may just be a connection that helps them keep STEM in their long-term memory. If we connected math to fairy tales, the students may remember this connection for longer periods of time, making their math experiences more enjoyable. Not only can you connect so many different factors to STEM with fairy tales, but you are also connecting science to reading, technology to reading, or math to reading, and so on! These connections will help them to grow in all subjects and hopefully as enthusiasts of STEM concepts!

Bethany Allen Bethany Allen 170 Points

I appreciate all of the cross-curricular ideas that can come out of this! The obvious one to incorporate would be English Language Arts, Math could be incorporated by using budgets to limit students on the materials that they can get to create their STEM projects. Social and emotional learning would be going into the group work. There's the potential of giving students the chance to create their own STEM challenege based off of a book of their choosing. Other than these there are endless possibiliites, and this is a great way to get students really engaged in their science experiments! I love it!

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