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STEM Challenge: Build a Hammock for Baby Sloths

Grade Levels
2nd - 5th
Formats Included
  • PDF
14 pages
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Sloth Hammock Design Challenge

This STEM lesson is designed to get students thinking about animals from one of the seven continents, North America and animal adaptations of sloth. This easy STEM activity asks students to work cooperatively with a team, or on their own, to design and test a hammock for a pretend abandoned baby sloth. This lesson is intended to help students explore an animal adaptation for sloths, climbing and staying in place in swaying tree branches.

This download includes:
1. Two sets of STEM lesson recording sheets for students to record all parts of the STEM process. The first set if students are working in a group, the second set if they are working individually.
2. A teacher resource page with links to helpful YouTube videos of sloths and hammock design
3. Two versions of a Cost Sheet
- This add on feature allows students to practice money skills by associating a cost to each material used (using play money)
- Students can then budget out how to use their money to buy supplies for building
4. Pictures of sloths from my own travels to Costa Rica

Materials suggested to complete this challenge are:
Rubber Bands
Masking Tape
Binder Clips
Full Clorox Wipe Container


I recommend pairing this lesson with either lessons on animal adaptations or seven continent study with a focus on North America. I recommend reviewing information about sloths before starting the lesson to give students some background knowledge and activate creative thinking.

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Want More Global STEM?
Spring STEM Challenge: Build a Windmill
African Penguin Habitat STEM Challenge
STEM Activity: Boat Design Challenge Finland Edition
Design a Pack for a Llama STEM Challenge
Total Pages
14 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
45 minutes
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