How do we introduce STEM education and get kindergartens and grade 1s to build things and solve problems? I don’t teach primary age students regularly and dread having to spend time with them because they always seemed so needy. But they are amazing little creatures that absorb information and learn through play and cooperation.
So what is needed to create a successful STEM lesson with primary kids? We must begin with what they already know so that they can make connections to their world.
We began a new unit on Fairytales because primary kids are familiar with stories and it’s something they can relate to. We started with the story of Rapunzel. We watched a 2 minute youtube video then the children were put into pairs to build a zip line to rescue Rapunzel from the tower.
I prepared little bins with all the resources they need to make the zip line. It included:
- 50cm long string/rope
- paper clip
- coffee filter paper (to make the basket to hold Rapunzel in)
Some children needed some prompt to secure the zip line from the top of the table to the floor but most were able to figure it out on their own.
It was a super fun activity where the students felt very successful in. Next week, we will be completing a challenge after reading/watching Humpty Dumpty.