Showing posts with label STEM and STEAM. Show all posts
Showing posts with label STEM and STEAM. Show all posts

Dippin' Dandelions STEM Challenge

Dipping dandelions into a glass of water to see what happens to them is the newest TikTok challenge out there.  (I found out about this challenge from someone who told me about it after reading Learning About Dandelion Life Cycles.)  To do this challenge, you dip a white fuzzy dandelion head into a glass of water, keep it submerged for a few seconds, and pull it out.  Then you observe any changes that may have occurred.  Pretty simple, eh?  My son and I gave it a try earlier today and this is what happened...

What happens when you dip a dandelion in some water? We tried the dipping dandelions TikTok challenge to find out! Fun STEM activity for all ages. #kellysclassroomonline

Learning About Dandelion Life Cycles

Dandelions... also called puffballs, lion's head, lion's tooth, and monk's head... are some of the first flowers that appear in the spring.  Spring animals love to eat them.  Children love to play with them.  Science teachers and homeschooling families like to use them to talk about plant life cycles.  Keep reading for a quick science + craft activity and children's book suggestion you can use to teach dandelion life cycles to the children you work with!

Learn about plant life cycles, make a  dandelion life cycle craft, and read The Dandelion Seed by Joseph Anthony.  Perfect from spring!  Preschool to first grade.  Science, ELA, STEM/STEAM. #kellysclassroomonline

The Bridge of the Golden Wood by Karl Beckstrand + STEM Activity

Karl Beckstrand is a prolific author of 30+ multicultural children's stories.  He has written stories that take place in a variety of countries around the world and has written stories in multiple languages.  Four of Karl Beckstrand's books have been featured on Kelly's Classroom Online so far:

🍎 Anna's Prayer (Sweden, United States)
🍎 Ida's Witness (Sweden, United States)
🍎 It Came from Under the High Chair (English, Spanish)
🍎 Great Cape O' Colors (English, Spanish)

Today's blog post is the fifth one about one of Karl Beckstrand's books... The Bridge of the Golden Wood.  The Bridge of the Golden Wood is a modern-day folktale/parable that takes place in China and that teaches children about the importance of helping others and saving money.  Keep reading to learn about this book and for a STEM building activity and economics minilesson ideas inspired by the book!

The Bridge of the Golden Wood by Karl Beckstrand is a modern day folktale about good deeds & helping others. STEM + economics + ELA minilessons.

How to Make Earth Day Seed Bombs

Earth Day is almost here... are you looking for an easy-to-make craft your students and children can make?  Stevie Rae from 🌱🌍 Funtimes Daily Fun and Learning πŸŒπŸŒ± and her family recently made some Earth Day-themed seed bombs using items that can be purchased inexpensively at a dollar store.  In this guest post, Stevie Rae describes how they made their seed bombs and shares some of the photos she took along the way.  Thanks, Stevie!

Learn how to make seed bombs from construction paper and flower seeds with this easy DIY Earth Day themed seed bomb recipe. #kellysclassroomonline

How to Make a Mummy STEM Activity + Book List

The ancient Egyptians had one wish... they wished they could live forever.  They believed pharaohs would need their bodies in the afterlife so, they'd mummify the pharaohs' bodies to prevent them from decomposing and rotting away.

Making a mummy was a long and tedious process that could take months to complete. First, the body was packed in a salt called natron.  This allowed the body to dry out and for the moisture to be removed.  Once it was completely dry, the body was covered with scented spices and oils, then wrapped in cloth.  Finally, the body... now called a mummy... would be placed in a coffin and buried in its final resting place.

For obvious reasons, we can't mummify bodies these days... we'd be in serious legal trouble if we tried.  But we can recreate the process using apples, salt, and baking soda.  Keep reading to see some photos of an apple I mummified and to learn how to mummify an apple of your own!

Recreate the mummification process & make an apple mummy using apples, salt, baking soda. Enrichment activity for Ancient Egypt social studies units.  #kellysclassroomonline

Watch Over Our Water by Lisa Bullard + Minilesson + Free Poster

The amount of water that we have in the world right now will always be the same.  We will never have any more of it... and we will never have any less of it.  The water is in the rivers, lakes, streams, and oceans.  It's in the air.  It's in the ground.  It's locked in ice.   And... only 1.5% of it is accessible and drinkable.  This poses a serious problem.  If only 1.5% of the world's water is accessible and drinkable, how do we take care of what we have?  How can we make sure it's not wasted?  What can children do to help?

Learn about ways to conserve water and to keep it clean. Watch Over Our Water by Lisa Bullard + Minilesson + Free poster. #kellysclassroomonline

10 Children's Book to Read on Star Wars Day

May 4th of each year is the unofficial celebration of all things Star Wars.  Since 1979, fans of the Star Wars franchise... including yours truly... gather together with friends and families to rewatch their favorite Star Wars movies and talk about galaxies far, far away.  May the 4th was chosen as the date for this because of its wordplay on the well-known catchphrase... May the Force be with you.  (May the Fourth... May the Force...)

Listed below are ten children's books to get your students and children excited about Star Wars Day.  Most of the books are traditional storybooks, but there are some books from other genres on the list as well...  including a cookbook, a STEM activity book, and even a kid's coding book.  Enjoy!

May the Fourth of every year is Star Wars Day.  Here is a list of 10 children's Star Wars books to help your children celebrate the day! Fiction, cookbook, STEM. Kindergarten through 3rd grade. #kellysclassroomonline

This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2015.  
Affiliate links are included.

The Night Before St. Patrick's Day by Natasha Wing + STEM Activity

A Visit from St. Nicholas... also known as 'Twas the Night Before Christmas... by Clement Clarke Moore is a traditional Christmas poem that has inspired authors to write parodies, satires, and their own versions of it.  Are you familiar with The Night Before St. Patrick's Day by Natasha Wing?  Children's author Natasha Wing was so inspired by 'Twas the Night Before Christmas that she wrote a St. Patrick's Day version for children to read!  Keep reading to learn more about The Night Before St. Patrick's Day and how you can tie it into a STEM/STEAM activity for your students.

The Night Before St. Patrick's Day by Natasha Wing is a book inspired by 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Read the book then build a leprechaun trap!
(This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2016.)

Crackle and Pop! Bible Science Experiments by Hanna Holwerda + STEM Activity

In January 2021, Hanna Holwerda released Crackle and Pop! Bible Science Experiments for parents, teachers, and children who want to integrate science instruction with the stories in the Bible. There are 100+ STEM experiments and science activities in the book that can be completed at home or at school, and many of them use materials that you may already have.  You can also get many of these items inexpensively at a dollar store.  Keep reading to learn more about Crackle and Pop! and to check out some photos from one of the experiments I tried!

Crackle and Pop: Bible Science Experiments by Hanna Holwerda integrates STEM activities with Bible Stories. Post includes a sink and float experiment.

Dragon's Breath by Michael Gordon + STEM Activity

February is National Children's Dental Health Month... a month-long observance that raises awareness of dental health and promotes the importance of proper oral hygiene.  During this time, early elementary school students learn and practice the right way to brush and floss their teeth.  Quite often dentists will visit their classrooms as guest speakers and pass out toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss.  Fun times!

Not too long ago, Michael Gordon published his book Dragon's Breath which emphasizes why having proper oral hygiene is so important.  Dragon's Breath is about Joe the Dragon who does not want to brush his teeth.  His teeth turn green... his breath starts to smell... and people don't want to be near him because of it.  Eventually, Joe brushes his teeth and feels good about himself.  Hooray!  But, what if Joe didn't make the smart choice to brush his teeth?  What would have happened to them over time?  Read Dragon's Breath and complete the following STEM activity to find out.  The results are GROSS!

Learn why it's important to brush your teeth with Dragon's Breath by Michael Gordon & this STEM activity. What happens when you soak eggs in soda?

The Adventures of Scout by The3engineers

A few weeks ago I wrote about the book Saving Planet Earthly by our friends at ClimateScience.  Saving Planet Earthly introduced the important topic of climate change to children.  It explained what climate change is, what causes it, and how we can minimize its effects.  

Like ClimateScience, the3engineers is another nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate children about environmental issues and to encourage them to make small changes that will add up to make a huge difference.  The3engineers have written a series of audiobooks called The Adventures of Scout, the first three of which... Plastic On Our Beaches,  The Bees Are Missing, and Endangered Animals... are currently available on their website.   Keep reading to learn more about the3engineers, their mission, and how they came up with the idea for Scout!

Learn about The Adventures of Scout, an environmental audiobook series for children written by the3engineers. Endangered animals, plastics, and bees.
(The following is a paid sponsored post from the3engineers.)

Saving Planet Earthly by ClimateScience

Climate change is a hot topic to talk about right now... a topic that is also controversial.  Some people believe in climate change and the science behind it, whereas others deny its existence and declare it a hoax.  Of course, there are plenty of people in the middle who have heard about climate change but don't really understand what it is.  So... what is climate change?  What are the causes of it?  Is climate change something cyclical, something brought about by humans, or a combination of both?  If climate change is for real... is there anything that can be done about it?  To help answer these and other questions children may have, three authors from ClimateScience wrote the book Saving Planet Earthly.  Saving Planet Earthly is a lighthearted children's book that takes a serious look at climate change and what we can do about it.  Read on to learn more about this book and how it can be used in the classroom.

Learn the ins-and-outs of climate change with the online children's book Saving Planet Earthly by ClimateScience. Ideas to protect the environment.

Love Grows Love by Lauren Grabois Fischer + STEM Activity

Empathy is at the heart of what it means to be human. It’s a foundation for acting ethically, for good relationships of many kinds, for loving well, and for professional success. And it’s key to preventing bullying and many other forms of cruelty.
-5 Tips for Cultivating Empathy, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Empathy is the ability to be aware of and sensitive to another person's thoughts, feelings, and experiences.  It's the ability to 'put yourself in their shoes' and is the foundation for kindness, tolerance, and compassion.  It's also an emotional skill that needs to be taught.  

One of the ways teachers and parents can help children learn empathy is through reading and discussing empathetic children's literature.  Reading Love Grows Love by Lauren Grabois Fischer is a good book to use when starting that discussion.  In Love Grows Love, we see children... and flowers... experiencing different emotions.  Their faces clearly depict how they are feeling.  Children will be able to look at the illustrations, identify how each child and flower are feeling, and see a cause and effect relationship between the children's emotions and the flowers'.  Keep reading to learn more about Love Grows Love and for a science/art activity that will reinforce this book's message!

Love Grows Love by Lauren Grabois Fischer sends a message of love and empathy. Read Love Grows Love then make some seed paper to grow some love!

Hot Chocolate Surprise + STEM Activity

Teachers are always on the lookout for fast and easy science experiments to complement what their students are learning from their textbooks.  Sometimes science textbooks are dry and not very interesting... even when they are introducing interesting subject matter!  Science experiments are a fun, hands-on way to bring energy and excitement to those pesky pages.  If you are looking for a science experiment that is easy to prepare and conduct, educational, and with a high-interest level, give Hot Chocolate Surprise a try.  Hot Chocolate Surprise appeals to students of all ages and meets a number of objectives.  Read on for a list of materials needed, directions, a free printable, and a (yummy) extension activity.

Learn about chemical changes with this simple science experiment. Mix hot chocolate, baking soda, and vinegar to make a messy HOT CHOCOLATE SURPRISE!

Goo on My Shoe by Jacqui Sheperd + STEM Activity

When teaching reading to young or struggling readers, teachers often use poetry as one of the strategies to help them.  There are a lot of reasons why we use poetry:

🍎 Poems tend to be brief and easier to read.
🍎 Repetitive reading and mastery of poems build students' confidence.
🍎 Choral reading of poems encourages hesitant students to read out loud with the others.
🍎 Teachers can use poetry to teach word recognition skills and build vocabulary.
🍎 We feel emotions when we read poetry.  Talking about those emotions helps to build a better understanding of ourselves and others.

Goo on My Shoe (affiliate link to Amazon) by Jacqui Sheperd is a story for young readers that is written in poetic form.  It has a likable main character and a storyline that will keep students engaged and motivated to read.  Read on to learn more about Goo on My Shoe and how you can integrate it into your language arts lessons.  There is even a simple goo recipe for you to make with your students!


Learn about rhyming words, words with the /oo/ sound, and how to make your own goo with the book Goo on My Shoe by Mari Schuh.

It Came from Under the High Chair: A Mystery by Karl Beckstrand + STEM Activity

It Came from Under the High Chair... fully known as It Came from Under the High Chair – SaliΓ³ de Debajo de la Silla Para Comer: A Mystery in English and Spanish (affiliate link to Amazon)... by Karl Beckstrand is a funny book that children who speak either English or Spanish can enjoy.  It features Ivan, a messy baby, who drops food under his highchair.  Somehow this food magically comes to life and becomes an icky, ooey-gooey, slimy food monster.  Read on to learn more about It Came from Under the High Chair and to find an ooey-gooey slime recipe inspired by the book!

Language arts lesson and slime recipe for Karl Beckstrand's It Came from Under the Highchair-SaliΓ³ de Debajo de la Silla Para Comer: A Mystery

Oozing Pumpkins + STEM Activity

Halloween is coming!  Families will be carving pumpkins and decorating their houses with them.  When Halloween is over, these pumpkins will be thrown away, fed to animals, or tossed into compost piles.  But... these pumpkins can be used for something fun and educational before being disposed of... science!  Read on to learn more about a fun science experiment you can do with these leftover pumpkins.

Combine baking soda and vinegar to create an exciting chemical reaction! Oozing Pumpkins is a fun STEM science experiment for children of all ages.

Does Halloween Candy Sink or Float? + STEM Activity

It's only September and the stores are already gearing up for Halloween.  Shelf after shelf after shelf is loaded up with bags of Halloween candy waiting for you to buy it and take it home.  Of course, we can eat the Halloween candy or pass it out to trick-or-treaters, but we can also use it to teach little ones about one of the basic fundamentals of science... does it sink or float?


A Halloween candy themed sink or float science experiment. Introduction to scientific process. Materials, procedure, prediction, and record results.

How to Grow Celery from Scraps + STEM Activity

A couple of years ago I had an interesting conversation with my second and third-grade class.  We were having a conversation about edible plants and some of the children were grossed out when they made the connection between vegetables and the plants we eat.  Carrots are roots?  Gross!  Lettuce is a leaf?  Gross!  Celery is a stem?  Gross!  My students truly did not know where their vegetables come from.  They knew that vegetables come from the grocery store, often in cans and freezer bags.  They knew they could find fresh vegetables in the produce section... but most of them did not know anything more than that.  To help your students make the connection between plants and the foods they eat, you can use their food scraps to grow veggies in the classroom.  Keep reading to find out how.

Learn how to grow celery from food scraps.  All you need is the cut end from a celery stalk, a clear jar or glass, and some clean water.

How Do Seeds Travel? + STEM Activity

In an earlier post (What Happens When You Plant Birdseed?), I described a science experiment in which some children in the neighborhood and I grew plants from birdseed this summer.  The children 'discovered' that birdseed can produce plants and those plants are able to grow and thrive.  In this blog post, I will describe another science experiment involving seeds.  This time we are going to learn about how seeds can travel!

Dirty Socks is a science experiment that demonstrates how seeds can travel by hitching themselves to clothing & animal fur. You only need clean socks!