I love to integrate reading and STEM whenever I can! In the winter we complete a challenge that integrates both of these subject and it is so much fun! So, how does this work?!
First I ask parents to donate a bunch of recycled material. Things like cardboard, paper plates, etc. Anything at their house that they are just going to throw away anyways!
Then, I put all the materials in one big pile for the challenge.
I typically put the students in groups. But you could also do this individually.
I give the students 10 pieces of scrap paper. (this is a great way to use the scrap paper that you have laying around your room)
The students will then complete 10 different reading challenge. Each challenge requires them to read something and complete a task. The reading articles are all winter themed and the tasks focus on key reading skills we are working on this year.
They put their answers to their tasks on their scrap piece of paper. After each challenge they will come to the checker (me or a parent volunteer). We will check their answers and if they are correct they get to keep the scrap paper and make it into a snowball. They also get to go to the big pile of recycled material and grab one item.
If it is incorrect this is a great teaching time for me. I can teach them where they went wrong and then have them correct it.
1.Students read a passage about penguins, answer two questions, and then create two questions for a friend to answer.
2.The students will read two different stories and draw a picture of the setting. They will color in the differences. Then, they will compare and contrast the theme and characters.
3. The students will read facts about polar bears and then write an informational paragraph.
4. The students will read a story about the Iditarod and answer inferencing’s questions.
5.The students will read a story about Alaska and analyze the text features.
6. The students will look at two different points of view and then write a story in a new point of view.
7. The students will read book reviews and identify different types of nonliteral language. Then, they will use context clues to define two words.
8. The students will find the text structure of three different newspaper articles.
9.The students will read answers from animals to the question, “what do you do on a snowy day?”. Then, they will identify a character trait for each animal.
10. The students will create a poster showing you they understand 8 different test taking terms.
They will do this for all ten challenges! Some challenges will have writing and following directions involved too!
When they are done they should have ten recycled items. I will then give them a snow person. Their job is to make a fort that will hide that snow person.
Once all the groups make a snow fort that hides their person successfully I will have the students use the recycled paper to make snowballs and let the class have a “snowball” fight, trying to reveal each others snow people!
This is a great way to get students reading and analyzing text, while integrating STEM, writing, and more!
>>>Find the unit here<<<
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does this take?
Truly it depends on your students and their abilities. It also depends if you do it individually or in groups. If you want to do it all in one sitting I would say it would take 2-3 hours.
You could also split it up over ten days and do a challenge each day! Or a week and do two challenges a day and have the final day be the snowball fight!
What grade level is this for?
This is for 3rd and/or 4th graders!
How do you get families to donate?
I send home a note (it is provided) to the families asking. If I don’t get enough donated I will ask the other teachers in my building to save things like kleenex boxes for a week to help out!
What do you do with the materials when it is all over?
We just recycle them! 🙂
Want a free sample!? Check out the 100th day free reading challenge here!