Friday, February 17, 2017

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STEAM / STEM Challenge to go with Giraffes Can't Dance

It's time to tell the world: giraffes CAN dance, and this musical giraffe-y STEAM challenge is perfect for all ages!


Actually, the book Giraffes Can't Dance is full of wonderful lessons, including treating others with kindness, overcoming fears, trying more than once, embracing your own uniqueness, and doing things you love. The pictures are fantastic and the story is adorable...plus, the kids love it and are always happy to point out things that the animals are doing right...and wrong.

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As we read it this time, I emphasized every time the story talked about music--we even saw a violin made from a peanut! When we finished I presented the "Challenge for the Day." I thought it was a particularly clever challenge since I didn't have to prepare anything for them.  

STEAM / STEM Challenge:

Create your own musical instrument! It can be an instrument you've seen before, or one you invent yourself. You can use any craft, art, or building supplies you want (that are reasonable). I have to throw the "reasonable" clause in because otherwise they will try things like "I want to disassemble my dresser and use all the drawers" or "I want to go to the store and buy 327 pieces of wood..." or all sorts of other things! I need to have a "reasonable clause" for things that I'm really not okay with!

The kids did an amazing job...I always love watching them design and create new projects. 

My 4-year old used duct tape, beads, rubber bands, and sparkly "gem" stickers to make a handle and colored craft sticks, hot glue, egg carton covers, and dry beans to make a maraca-type of musical instrument. The actual maraca-style part of it was so unique and brilliant that I might make a separate post just about it!




I cut duct tape and helped her with the hot glue gun, carefully following any instructions she gave me!

My 6-ear old used boxes, a huge paper bag, and duct tape to make a drum. He also used (and I totally thought this was brilliant and deserved its own post too!) duct tape to wrap pine cones and a stick to create drumsticks!



I also cut tape for him...even though he's got great dexterity, duct tape is a little tricky!

My 9-year old cut cardboard to make a guitar-inspired body for a string instrument. She added a maraca-type instrument made from beans and paper plates AND a stringed instrument made from rubberbands and paper plates. The stringed instrument actually took two attempts because the rubberbands crushed the first paper plates. She discovered that if she used hot glue to secure the paper plates to her "guitar" body they would not collapse under the rubberbands.




I didn't help her at all.


So, how is this a "STEAM Project?" It integrates science, technology, engineering, art, and math!

SCIENCE: problem solving, hypothesizing, testing, analyzing, music, wavelengths
TECHNOLOGY: hot glue gun, duct tape
ENGINEERING: designing and building their own instruments
ART: designing, decorating, and creating their instruments
MATH: music, wavelengths, measuring cardboard and tape, qualitative and quantitative measurements, counting beads, analyzing the strength of different boxes and cardboards and bags


Everyone was very excited to finish and play their instruments and, you know what? They sounded awesome!! We even took turns dancing like giraffes while the other kids played! My favorite part might be when they play together in their "band," but I sure loved watching them create their instruments.


I'm sharing this STEAM / STEM Challenge as part of the 28 Days of STEAM hosted by Left Brain Craft Brain! Be sure to hop over there to see more great STEAM ideas to do with your kiddos!

And if you love STEM activities for kids, you will totally want to check out this collection:

Happy Educating,
Carla

Disclosure: The colored craft sticks and gem stickers were provided by Craft Project Ideas for use by Preschool Powol Packets. No additional compensation was provided.





I may share at any of these parties!




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1 comments:

Jacquie Fisher said...

I think the M in STEAM can double for music in this project! Great ideas!