This year Thanksgiving comes very early, making it even more difficult for many teachers. To make it easier for you, here are three Thanksgiving STEM challenges that you can try in your classroom. Make sure to read till the end to grab a STEM freebie as well!
One solution I thought of to make it easier for teachers like you is to tie several concepts and areas together with my three Thanksgiving STEM challenges. For these challenges, your students will design and build a Mayflower ship, a Thanksgiving table, and a turkey trap.
MAYFLOWER THANKSGIVING STEM CHALLENGE
The Mayflower STEM Challenge is so much fun for kids to create with materials you probably already have in your classroom. Challenge your students to design and build a Mayflower ship using popsicle sticks, drinking straws, skewers, cling wrap, colored paper, and bottle caps. Challenge them to make the ship float while holding marbles without sinking or toppling over.
Use the STE(A)M links I have provided, grab some books from the library about life on the Mayflower, and add a writing activity for a complete mini unit.
THANKSGIVING TABLE THANKSGIVING STEM CHALLENGE
The Thanksgiving Table STEM Challenge also uses easily obtainable, inexpensive materials. Challenge your students to design and build a Thanksgiving table using drinking straws and tape. Challenge them to make sure it can fit eight (8) Thanksgiving dishes.
The STE(A)M links I provided expand learning into several other content areas. One teacher also created a writing connection by having her students design a pretend cookbook of recipes for the items on the table.
TURKEY TRAP THANKSGIVING STEM CHALLENGE
Students LOVE the Turkey Trap Challenge. Again, the materials are easy to come by and inexpensive. Challenge your students to design and build a turkey trap using popsicle sticks, skewers, and yarn/string. Challenge them to make sure it works and can capture a tom turkey.
If you want to expand this challenge beyond the STE(A)M links, add a writing assignment such as “How the Turkey Got Away”.
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This post on Thanksgiving STEM Challenges originally appeared at Jewel’s School Gems.