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These Thanksgiving STEM / STEAM Challenges will engage your students in brain-busting work disguised as fun while following the Pilgrims’ journey to the New World! Thanksgiving activities can be fun AND a good use of instructional time!
The basic premise:
Students work in partners or groups against criteria & constraints lists to design and build Thanksgiving-themed devices. Modification suggestions are included to make these challenges engaging and productive for students in grades 2 - 8.
This bundle includes five challenges at a great discount!
• Though the Pumpkin Picker and Corn Cultivator challenges could be interchanged, the recommended order is based on the following story line:
– Pilgrims come to America (Mini Mayflower)
– Pilgrims require shelter (Protect-a-Pilgrim)
– Pilgrims gather food (Pumpkin Picker)
– Pilgrims begin organized agriculture (Corn Cultivator)
– With food & shelter in place, Pilgrims have time for fun and games (Turkey Transporter)
Note: This is the printable version. If you are in a 1:1 / paperless classroom, you will want to check out the digital option for use with GOOGLE SLIDES (TM) instead.
If you have questions about which version is right for you, please feel free to leave me a question using the product Q&A below.
Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified. Materials lists can be found in the product descriptions for each individual challenge linked above or by clicking through on its page in the downloadable preview.
• Overall STEM Tips
- Suggestions on timing and whether or not to treat these challenges as competitions
- What to say (and what not to say) during STEM Challenges
- 5-event Data Tracker handout
Plus, each challenge comes with:
• NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8
• Teacher Tips
- Links to STEM Challenge How-to Videos
- Links to individual challenge walk-throughs (videos will post between April 20 – May 5)
- Materials and timing
- Criteria & Constraints (including modifications to increase difficulty for older students)
- Measuring results
- Post-design extension activities list
- Universal STEM Challenge Tips/how to use the handouts
• Student Handouts
- Criteria and Constraints list (color and B&W; editable)
- Results and Design Analysis (color and B&W)
- Discussion Questions (color and B&W)
• Extension templates
- Process Flow Map
- Math Extension
- Plus, other design-specific handouts (see each individual challenge resource description page for more details)
The preview shows an overview of what is included in each challenge. You can find more details by clicking anywhere on the individual challenges pages. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!
Benefits of STEM Design Challenges:
- Focus on critical thinking, problem solving, and application of learning
- High levels of student engagement
- The potential to hit upon all NGSS ETS standards depending on the depth and number of iterations you choose to implement in your classroom (modifications included)
- Highly flexible and differentiated for materials, timing, grade levels, and rigor.
Each design iteration should be planned for approximately 60 – 90 min. Again, I recommend working on STEM Design Challenges in multiple iterations to get the full value.
What are teachers saying about this bundle?
"This is an extremely well-thought out unit that incorporates math, science and even reading. This was worth every dime spent-thanks!"
“Excellent resource. Activities are challenging and engaging.”
“WOW! Loved using this resource! The kids loved the activities! I was so surprised by all the information and activities you provided at such a great price. Thank you!!”
“My students and I loved these STEM activities. They really challenged the students to think deep!! Thank you!”
“Amazing STEM activities that my fourth graders absolutely loved!”
"So fun and engaging! No lame duck days here this year!"
“Very detailed explanations using everyday items for holiday stem activities.”
“So much fun! It really got the students thinking outside the box!I used these lessons for the first time last year. I can't wait to use them again this year!”
“Fabulous resource full of wonderful activities!”
NOTE: You can save even more by purchasing this bundle as part of the STEM CHALLENGE YEAR-ROUND MEGA-BUNDLE!!!
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