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2018

STEM for the Early Childhood Student

Contains resources for Science, Technology,


Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) educational
practices important in Early Childhood (EC)
development from toddler to 3rd grade.

Andrew Nebl
ECED 5354
4/27/2018
Table of Contents

1. Personal Teaching Statement

2. Teacher Resources

3. STEM for Infants & Toddlers

4. STEM for Preschoolers & Kindergarten

5. STEM for 1st-3rd graders

6. References
Personal Teaching Statement

These are the individual definitions of the components that


make up the STEM acronym. When used together, the
acronym STEM means something different than the
components defined in Fig. 1. I invite you to look at STEM
Fig. 1 solely as an instructional model, a critical education
practice that harnesses innate characteristics in human
beings and uses natural curiosities and talents to shape
academic and social growth in all domains. Overlapping learning objectives exist in science,
engineering, and mathematics, but historical teaching practices have maintained rather strict
subject integrity and not taken advantage of the known similarities to enhance training across all
domains. The resultant education silos that formed have existed for many years, but relatively
recent analysis has shown that not only do learning objectives of science, engineering, and math
overlap, but many other subject areas can be incorporated in the STEM model. Additionally, it is
noted that many of these characteristics that motivate and enhance our learning experiences are
inherent qualities that reside from the moment a person is born and continually develop
throughout a life cycle. This
discovery has led to the adoption of
STEM educational practices for
toddlers and maintains its importance
in the curriculum throughout
elementary school.
Technology was purposefully
left out of the explanation of STEM
instruction in the previous paragraph.
The absence of technology in the
description of STEM as a practice
does not undermine its importance in
adolescent development, but merely
highlights that it has a different role
than the other described components.
Technology was described as any
tool made to meet a need or desire.
From this definition, it can be
inferred that every material and
component used in the creation of an object or in the pursuit of knowledge, can be considered
technology. Technology itself doesn’t consist of any learning objectives, but is used to achieve
learning objectives.
Similarly, art has many of the same qualities of technology. Art is a very important part of
STEM and some claim it belongs in the same category alongside science, engineering, and
mathematics. I believe that art stands in a class of its own and encompasses every STEM
learning objective. Art was around before the creation of STEM as a learning practice. Art
includes drama, dance, music and any other form of expression that is used to create an idea. I
believe art is a pivotal method of communication and has direct correlation with STEM
activities. For this reason, I hope to routinely include art functions in my classroom and
hopefully will be able to integrate my learning objectives with those of the school’s art and
music teachers should I be fortunate enough to have those precious resources available.
Whether it is called STEM, Visual Thinking, Inquiry-based Learning, Project-based
Learning or something else, employing this teaching strategy is vital to achieve the best
academic and social development in school-aged children. It is not as hard as it may seem to use
these practices. We must turn ordinary moments into teaching moments, expand children’s
natural interests, and create meaningful context. When we do these simple steps, STEM practices
will be alive in the classroom in everyday language.
Teacher Resources - Books

The Curios Kid’s Science Book


by Asia Citro
This book provides autonomy to children to explore STEM concepts on their
own. The activities inspire open-ended questions, development and conduct of
experiments, and opportunities to find solutions to the students’ inquiries. It
strategically employs the scientific method in a manner useful for young
learners.

Stem Play: Integrating Inquiry Into Learning Centers


by Deirdre Englehart

This book pairs STEM strategies with appropriate activities. This is a great
resource for teachers because it creates a fusion of STEM functions with play-
based activity in learning centers which is an essential function for child social
and academic development.

Teaching STEM in the Early Years: Activities for Integrating Science,


Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
by Sally Moomaw

This book offers simple lessons that contain multiple STEM lesson objectives in
each activity. It is designed to cover a wide age gap (ages 4-8) to make this a
useful resource to employ for years.

Teaching STEM Literacy: A Constructivist Approach for Ages 3 to 8


by Juliana Texley & Ruth Rudd

“Teaching STEM Literacy is an essential resource for every early childhood


educator. Texley and Ruud share classroom tested ideas and lessons that bring
STEM concepts to life for young children. Linking STEM concepts with
children’s literature is an excellent way to engage children and help them explore
natural curiosities.” —Kristen Poindexter, MAEd, kindergarten educator, 2014
National Shell Science Teacher Award Recipient
PBL in the Elementary Grades
by Sara Hallermann, John Larmer, & John R. Mergendoller

A practical guide to Project Based Learning. Designed for teachers of


Kindergarten through 5th grade students, PBL in the Elementary Grades
contains down-to-earth, classroom-tested advice for project planning,
assessment, and management, including: * Step-by-step guidance to take
you from generating ideas for projects to project planning and successful
implementation * Tips from experienced practitioners * Seven sample
projects from different grade levels, anchored in various subject areas,
with integrated goals for literacy and math * Planning tools and online
resources plus project-ready rubrics and handouts
Teacher Resources – Web-based
Discovery Education

Comprehensive web resource that contains information and tools for teachers, parents, and
students. The website offers something for everyone ranging from virtual field trips for students
to professional development opportunities for teachers. There is even a parent’s resource tab.
The teacher resource seems to be the only free, non-subscription section and offers lesson plans
and tools for Kindergarten through 5th grade STEM development.

Lego education

From preschool to middle school, LEGO Education provides a continuum of hands-on playful
learning tools that engage every student's natural curiosities, and help them develop the skills and
confidence they'll need in the future. This web resource taps into children’s fascination with
legos by linking STEM strategy with building activities. It is an exceptional resource that
provides lesson plans and activities that develop multiple STEM concepts for preschoolers,
elementary and middle school students.

STEM-PBL

The Global Digital Citizen Foundation (GDCF) connects educators across varied geographic
divides with STEM and Project-based Learning resources. These resources assist with the
development of modern learning environments in schools and classrooms that guide students
towards taking ownership for their own learning. The primary objective of GDCF is to
developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills vital to student’s growth and
independence.

STEM Teaching Kits


STEM Teaching Kits augment STEM curriculum with field-tested, research-based design
activities and scientific concepts and practices that support design. These activities utilize Next
Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that include engineering as a disciplinary core concept
along with life sciences, earth/space sciences, and physical sciences. Sample kits include projects
like save the penguins, seabirds, ferrets, and snails. From these kits, ideas can be adopted to
create similar activities that employ NGSS.

Integrated Curriculum

IntegratED is an all-inclusive arts integration and STEAM curriculum supplement. Inside this
digital curriculum are monthly packs with arts integration and STEAM lessons, assessments and
activities. Each lesson pack is carefully aligned to E/LA, Math, Social Studies and Science
standards with multiple arts areas. All the work has been done to save you time and let you do
what you do best: TEACH. The downside of this web resource is that it is not free and a yearly
subscription is required to use its lesson plans.

Engineering

Welcome to Get Caught Engineering, a resource site to help teachers and parents connect
classroom instruction with real life applications in STEM: science, technology, engineering and
math. The goal is to provide lessons, ideas, and references for hands-on engineering experiences
that excite and challenge elementary children.
Infants & Toddlers
Book #1

Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering!

Reference (APA format):

Spiro, R. (2016, October). Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering! Charlesbridge Publishing

Intended Audience (Target age): 3 Months to 3 Years

Brief description of the book (general):

Big science concepts broken down so a toddler can understand the basic concepts. This book in
the series explores the basics of flight from birds to airplanes to rockets.

Three Pictures of the book (Cover + 2 that illustrate some STEM content):

Brief description of the STEM content found in the book:

There are higher level science core content themes in this book and in those others in the Baby
Loves Science series. The author does a great job of taking these otherwise complicated
teachings to a very basic level that young children can begin to understand. In this book the
author teaches the characteristics of flight and aerodynamics.
Explain why this is a good book as a launch for a STEM activity with the target age group:

This book and others in the series introduce STEM topics in a developmentally appropriate way.
Using colorful illustrations, this book describes elements of physics and engineering on an
abstract level by showing how birds fly as a way of introducing aerospace engineering. It is a
great tool for development of core science content at such an early age.

Word Count: 239

Activity Plan # 18-001

Age/Grade Level: 3 yrs

State Standard Focus: Georgia

Standard: CD-SC1.3b
Uses simple tools to experiment and observe.

Standard: CD-SC1:
The child will demonstrate scientific inquiry skills.

Standard: CD-MA5:
The child will explore, recognize and describe spatial relationships between objects.

Standard: CD-CP:
The child will demonstrate awareness of cause and effect.

Target STEM Content/Processes:


Cognitive Development & General Knowledge
Science - Investigates different types or speeds of motion
Independently investigates objects and toys that require positioning and
movement
Technology - begin to recognize appropriate purposes for simple tools and how to use them
Engineering (Creative Development & Cognitive Processes) - Experiments with a variety of
materials to express individual creativity.
Makes connections between objects and ideas
Explores the effects that simple actions may have on objects.
Math – Follows simple directions which demonstrates an understanding of directionality, order
and position of objects.

Target STEM Vocabulary: Wing, Fly, Engine


Materials & Learning Environment:

Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering by R. Spiro


Paper
Crayons
Felt 9″X12″
Straw
Tape
Scissors
Ribbon

Launch/Introduction: Assess knowledge prior to group reading activity by asking students


what it means to fly. Ask the students what things fly. Ask the students if they have ever been on
something that flies. Read the story aloud pausing at the vocabulary words.

The Activity:
The children will….
1. Listen to the story Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering
2. Design their own object that flies.
(a) Draw the object on paper using a crayon or pencil
(b) Overlay the drawing on the felt
(c) Cut out object
3. Determine how to make their object fly using the provided materials

The teacher will do/ask….

1. Assist with cutting shapes out of felt material.


2. Encourage students to figure out a method to make their objects fly.
3. Assess students problem solving abilities when determining methods of flight

Questions: How can you make your object fly? What other things fly? How do those items fly?

Performance-based Analysis Plan:

The children will have achieved the objectives of the lesson if they:

 Actively participate in hands-on learning activity.


 Use the provided tools to create an object capable of flight
 Be able to describe the flight characteristics of their object

Time will be allocated for play-activity with their “objects of flight”. An assessment of
the learning objectives can be made by observation of the children’s play with their
creations. The lesson will conclude with a group conversation where the students will
describe others objects and why or why not they think they could fly.

Book #2

The Shape of Things

Reference (APA format):

Dodds, D. (1996, March). The Shape of Things. School & Library Binding

Intended Audience (Target age): Infant to 4 yrs

Brief description of the book (general):

A simple book that uses rhyming words and bright, colorful illustrations to introduce young
children to shapes.

Three Pictures of the book (Cover + 2 that illustrate some STEM content):

Brief description of the STEM content found in the book:

Most of the STEM content is based on mathematics concepts found in geometry. However, this
book can generate other STEM instruction built from the knowledge of shapes. The children will
learn how our environment is made from simple shapes that come together to form larger shapes
in things such as houses and boats.
Explain why this is a good book as a launch for a STEM activity with the target age group:

This book serves as a good introduction to basic shapes. The rhyming verse and bright
illustrations will keep a child’s interest while they learn the structure and identification of basic
shapes. The book can be used for purposes of a basic introduction to shapes and can also be used
for teaching more advanced geometry concepts like how a combination of shapes can make a
larger shape/object. There are fun activities at the end of the book that can assess the children’s
understanding of the content.

Word Count: 226

Activity Plan # 18-002

Age/Grade Level: 24-36 months

State Standard Focus: Georgia Early Learning and Development Standards (GELDS)
Standard: CD-MA6
The child will explore, recognize and describe shapes and shape concepts.

Standard: CD-SC3
The child will demonstrate knowledge related to living things and their environments.

Standard: CD-CR2
The child will create and explore visual art forms to develop artistic expression.

Target STEM Content/Processes:

Science – Creation of an object from shapes will demonstrate the child is using prior knowledge
to build new knowledge.
Technology – Use of tools to form shapes and objects.
Engineering – Create shapes from objects; Create an object from shapes
Mathematics – Geometric principles – ID and recall shapes; use shapes to form larger objects

Target STEM Vocabulary: Square, Triangle, Rectangle, Circle

Materials & Learning Environment:

The Shape of Things by Dayle Dodds


Construction paper
pieces of colorful cardstock (pre-cut shapes in various colors and sizes)
scissors or a paper cutter
glue
Launch/Introduction:

 Test preexisting knowledge by using shape prompts to determine if the students have any
prior knowledge before beginning.
 Give a brief description of the shape and its characteristics

The Activity:

The children will be….

1. Using the provided shapes to form objects on the construction paper.


2. Describing their object and its characteristics.
3. Describing what shapes make up their objects.

The teacher will do/ask….

1. Ensure the children understand the task.


2. Help children with construction of their object as necessary.
3. Guide students if they become confused or lose focus.

Questions: What objects are shaped like a square? What objects are shaped like a circle? What
objects are shaped like a rectangle? What objects are shaped like triangle?

Performance-based Analysis Plan:

The children will have achieved the objectives of the lesson if they:

 Actively participate in hands-on learning activity.


 Use the provided tools to create an object from the shapes.
 Recall the shapes from memory when given a prompt.
Preschoolers & Kindergarten
Book #1

Freddy the Frogcaster and the Huge Hurricane

Reference (APA format):

Dean, J. (2016, April). Freddy the Frogcaster and the Huge Hurricane. Regnery Kids

Intended Audience (Target age): Preschool – 3rd grade

Brief description of the book (general): Freddy is a weather forecaster “frogcaster” and he is
currently tracking a hurricane heading for the town of Lilypad. As he details the potential
impacts of the storm he is worried that the town’s residents will not be prepared for the storm.
Freddy has a big responsibility to accurately forecast the storms track so he can be sure his
family and friends stay safe.

Three Pictures of the book (Cover + 2 that illustrate some STEM content):

Brief description of the STEM content found in the book:


This book is all about scientific core content found in weather phenomena especially hurricanes
although many more STEM elements are present. Cause and effect relationships in weather,
interactive technology used to track hurricanes, and math elements present that are used measure
hurricane strength are just to name a few. Freddy collects the weather data to give to his friends
and family so they can be prepared for the storm. Freddy uses technology to help him forecast
and he uses problem solving skills to determine the best solutions available to get out of the
hurricane’s path.

Explain why this is a good book as a launch for a STEM activity with the target age group:

The children will want to know weather characteristics like Freddy does. They will be curious
about hurricanes and how they form. They will be anxious about getting Freddy’s family and
friends to a safe place. They will connect with Freddy and want to learn more about science core
concepts found in weather and climate study.

Word Count: 241

Activity Plan # 18-003

Age/Grade Level: Kindergarten

State Standard Focus: Georgia


MGSEK.MD.1
Describe several measurable attributes of an object, such as length or weight.

SKCS1.
Students will be aware of the importance of curiosity, honesty, openness, and skepticism in
science and will exhibit these traits in their own efforts to understand how the world works.

Target STEM Content/Processes:


Science – Learn about weather patterns, specifically hurricane formation and characteristics
Technology – Use tools to form objects for hands-on activity . Be introduced to tools that help
forecasters predict the weather.
Engineering – Build structures to withstand hurricane simulations.
Math – Measure weather characteristics such as wind speed, and rain fall quantities.

Target STEM Vocabulary: forecast, hurricane, meteorology

Materials & Learning Environment:

Freddy the Frogcaster and the Huge Hurricane


aluminum pans
popsicle sticks
construction paper
tape
Play-Doh
water
fan

Launch/Introduction: Ask students what their experience has been with hurricanes. Let them
tell stories of what it was like being in a hurricane and cleaning up.

The Activity:
Students will build a house capable of withstanding hurricane conditions.

The children will be….

1. Listening to the story of Freddy the Frogcaster and the Huge Hurricane
2. Learning about hurricane formation and characteristics
3. Creating their own hurricane safe-house using the materials provided
4. Simulating hurricane conditions using a fan and pan of water to determine if the structure
they built is suitable

The teacher will do/ask….

1. Read aloud the book Freddy the Frogcaster and the Huge Hurricane
2. Describe the hands-on activity
3. Assist the students with any issues
4. Assess if the students achieved the learning objectives.

Questions: What type of house is best to withstand hurricane conditions? What things will you
consider when building your home? How do you think your house is going to do?

Performance-based Analysis Plan:

Students will have achieved the learning objectives of this lesson if:

 They exhibit interest and motivation to build their house.


 Students understand the characteristics of a hurricane
 Students can explain why they built their house in the manner they did.

Book #2

The Best Nest


Reference (APA format):

Eastman, P. D. (1968, July). The Best Nest. Random House Books for Young Readers

Intended Audience (Target age): Preschool - 2nd grade

Brief description of the book (general):

Mr. and Mrs. Bird were a happy couple in their nest until Mrs. Bird decided she wanted to move.
They tried a number of places to build a new nest which led them to some interesting places. In
the end they realized that their original nest was the best and returned there to live happily ever
after.

Three Pictures of the book (Cover + 2 that illustrate some STEM content):

Brief description of the STEM content found in the book:

Science concepts introduce birds and their habitat along with environmental impacts from living
in the wild. The birds use materials available to them to create a nest suitable to live in. The birds
are faced with problem solving scenarios when they cannot find a suitable home.

Explain why this is a good book as a launch for a STEM activity with the target age group:

This book is a good method to introduce bird characteristics and habitat. I intend to use this story
book to show how birds live in our environment and make homes out of the materials they can
find and build a nest with. The children will be connected to this story and STEM concepts in the
process.

Word Count: 190

Activity Plan # 18-004

Age/Grade Level: Kindergarten

State Standard Focus: Georgia


MGSEK.MD.2
Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute in common, to see which object
has “more of”/“less of” the attribute, and describe the difference.

MGSEK.MD.3
Classify objects into given categories; count the numbers of objects in each category and
sort the categories by count.

SKL1.
Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about how organisms (alive and not
alive) and non-living objects are grouped

VAK.CR1
Engage in the creative process to generate and visualize ideas by using subject matter and
symbols to communicate meaning.

Target STEM Content/Processes:


Science – discover how birds build a nest, and about their life cycle. More in depth discussions
about animals’ needs and life cycles is a possibility.

Technology – Gather materials needed to build a nest

Engineering – Think about which materials they need to build a nest. Build a nest capable of
holding the weight of a bird and eggs.

Math – Measure the size of the nest.


Target STEM Vocabulary: Nest, Habitat

Materials & Learning Environment:


My Nest is Best book by P. D. Eastman
Materials gathered outside to build nest
Combination of outside and inside activity
Launch/Introduction:
Students love finding bird nests and looking at bird eggs. Students can bring empty nests that
they find to the class. Once a student brings a nest to class it can be used as a prompt to
beginning this lesson.

The Activity:
Students will work in teams to create a bird’s nest given certain criteria and constraints.

The children will be….

1. Listening to the story of My Nest is Best


2. Learning about the life cycle of birds
3. Gathering materials to build their own nests
4. Building their own nests
5. Measuring their nests with a ruler

The teacher will do/ask….

1. Read aloud the book My Nest is Best


2. Divide the students into groups.
3. Describe the criteria and constraints for gathering the materials and the building of the
nests.
4. Assist groups with any questions or problems

Questions: How do you think birds build nests in trees? What kinds of materials do you think
birds use to build nests?

Performance-based Analysis Plan:

Students will have achieved the learning objectives of this lesson if:

 They exhibit interest and motivation to build a bird nest.


 Students participate in the building of a capable bird nest in their group
 Students can explain the definitions of nest and habitat
1st – 3rd Grade

Book #1

A Drop Around the World

Reference (APA format):

McKinney, B. (1998, April). A Drop Around the World, Dawn Publishing

Intended Audience (Target age): Kindergarten – 3rd grade

Brief description of the book (general):

Take a trip around the world following a drop of water on its wild journey. This captivating story
introduces the stages of the water cycle in a unique and interesting manner that is easy for
children to understand.

Three Pictures of the book (Cover + 2 that illustrate some STEM content):
Brief description of the STEM content found in the book:
Core content in science is the main theme of this book. The stages of the water cycle are
presented in a unique manner that children will remember. The resultant activities and
experiments offer a variety of STEM learning objectives.

Explain why this is a good book as a launch for a STEM activity with the target age group:
The children will connect with the drop of water along its journey and be captivated by its
experiences and change in physical properties. This is a great method to introduce the water
cycle, weather changes, landforms, and some geography. There is a wealth of activities that can
be sparked from the information provided.

Word Count: 154

Activity Plan # 18-005

Age/Grade Level: 3rd grade

State Standard Focus:

S3CS1.
Students will be aware of the importance of curiosity, honesty, openness, and skepticism in
science and will exhibit these traits in their own efforts to understand how the world works.

S3CS7.
Students will be familiar with the character of scientific knowledge and how it is achieved.

S3L2.
Students will recognize the effects of pollution and humans on the environment.

MGSE CLUSTER #1
Solve problems involving measurement and estimation of intervals of time, liquid, volumes, and
masses of objects.

VA3CR1
Engage in the creative process to generate and visualize ideas by using subject matter and
symbols to communicate meaning.

Target STEM Content/Processes:

Science – core content, qualities of water


Technology – provided materials to make a water cycle and those used to measure water
Engineering – creation of water cycle project
Mathematics – measuring water volume

Target STEM Vocabulary: vapor, filter, precipitation, evaporation


Materials & Learning Environment:
Drop Around the World

measuring cup
Sharpie markers
cups
food coloring
water
ziplock bags - gallon size
tape

Launch/Introduction:

I will start this activity with a pre-activity to get the students excited about learning about the
water cycle. For the pre-activity, I will have the children build their own water slide out of
materials such as toilet tissue tubes, popsicle sticks, and aluminum foil. This activity will
demonstrate properties of water, but have little to do with the water cycle. However, it will
engage the students and grab their attention to focus on the upcoming water cycle module.

The Activity:

The children will……

1. Listen to the story A Drop Around the World


2. Conduct the water cycle experiment
(a) Fill clear, plastic cup half way with water. Put 1 or 2 drops of food
coloring in the water and stir.
(b) Mark with a permanent marker where the water level is.
(c) Draw arrows are going around the outside of the bag to describe the water
cycle. Begin with evaporation starting at one bottom corner and going to
the opposite top corner. Condensation is at the top corner. Precipitation
then goes from the top corner back down to the bottom corner to complete
the cycle.
(d) Place the cup carefully in the bottom corner where the diagram was
started. Be sure not to spill any water!
(e) Seal the bag, making sure to leave some air in the bag to represent the air
in the atmosphere.
(f) Carefully tape the top corner of the bag to a sunny window so that the cup
is nested upright in the bottom.
(g) Leave the bag hanging and watch the water cycle take place throughout
the day.
(h) The next day, observe what has happened to the water in the bag and the
water level in the cup.

The teacher will….


1. Read aloud A Drop Around the World
2. Demonstrate how the students should set up their water cycle bag
3. Assist the children with their experiment as necessary

Question: What do you think is going to happen to the water? Why?

Performance-based Analysis Plan:

Students will have achieved the learning objectives of this lesson if:

 They can describe the stages of the water in the cycle.


 They participate in the hands-on learning experiment applying the knowledge they
gained.
 Explain the changes observed to the water the next day

Book #2

What Makes Day and Night

Reference (APA format):

Branley, F. M. (2015, August). What Makes Day and Night, HarperCollins Publishing

Intended Audience (Target age): Preschool – 3rd grade

Brief description of the book (general):

This book explains the Earth's rotation in clear and simple terms. Included is an experiment
using a lamp as the sun which further emphasized the scientific principles introduced.

Three Pictures of the book (Cover + 2 that illustrate some STEM content):
Brief description of the STEM content found in the book:

This book is about the earth’s rotation and the cause effect relationship of the moon and sun on
the earth’s movement. It does a really good job of explaining how the rotation of the earth
creates both day and night.

Explain why this is a good book as a launch for a STEM activity with the target age group:
A simple, easy-to-read introduction to the earth's shape. Written in child friendly language, the
book describes how the earth revolves to create night and day, sunsets and sunrises. The included
experiment immediately applies the knowledge gained in the book and shows the students the
concept. There are numerous STEM activities that can be launched after reading this book
enveloping more STEM content.

Word Count: 190

Activity Plan # 18-006


Age/Grade Level: 3rd grade

State Standard Focus: Georgia

S2CS5.
Students will communicate scientific ideas and activities clearly.

S2E2.
Students will investigate the position of sun and moon to show patterns throughout the year.

MGSE2.MD.2
Measure the length of an object twice, using length units of different measurements; describe
how the two measurements relate to the size of the unit chosen. Understand the relative size of
units in different systems of measurement.

Target STEM Content/Processes:

Science – core content of earth’s rotation to cause night and day


Technology – using tools to make a sundial to tell time
Engineering – making a sundial
Mathematics – measuring shadow, telling time based on observations

Target STEM Vocabulary: Sundial, Shadow, Compass

Materials & Learning Environment:

What Makes Day and Night

3 square foot section outside that gets sun all day long
3’ stake
5-6 light-colored rocks
Bright colored ribbon
Compass
Rocks that will fit in the palm of a hand
Paint

Launch/Introduction:

Questions to spark interest and curiosities:

Have you ever been playing and outside and wondered what time it is? Is it time for lunch? Is it
time to go home? How do you know? What are some ways you can tell time without a watch or a
cellphone? How do you think people knew what time it was before they had these devices and
clocks? How can you use the sun to know the general time of day?
The Activity:

The children will be….

1. Listening to the story of What Makes Day and Night


2. Making a sundial from a stake and rocks
3. Place a rock at the end of shadow for each hour of school
4. Paint a personal rock while observing the shadow move around the stake
5. Equate the rock positions to the clock to determine approximate time of day
6. Utilize a compass to determine direction

The teacher will….

1. Asks questions to begin the lesson.


2. Read aloud the story What Makes Day and Night
3. Give directions to complete the sundial experiment
4. Assess children’s understanding of the lesson

Performance-based Analysis Plan:

The children will have achieved the learning objectives if:

 They can describe why the shadow moves around the stake
 Provide an explanation for what causes day and night
 Actively participate in the hands-on
References

Jolly, A. (2014, June). Six Characteristics of a Great STEM Lesson. Education Week Teacher,
Group Online Access

Lalonde, S. (2016, March) Spring STEM: Building a Bird’s Nest. Building, Engineering,
Science, STEAM, STEM

Simple Sundials, STEM Gems. National Afterschool Association. Retrieved from:


https://naaweb.org/images/STEMGems-SimpleSundials.pdf

GreenDim (2017, April) Diy Tutorial: Fog, Water, Rain! Create Your Own Water Cycle in a
Plastic Bag

Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent


at the Crossroads. National Academies Press. pp. 1-14

Sharapan, H. (2012, Jan). How Early Childhood Educators Can Apply Fred Rogers’ Approach
National Association for the Education of Young Children, pp. 36-40

Kamenetz, A. (2014, May). Why Mr. Rogers Is Having A Big Moment In Education, Learning
& Tech

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