I really love STEAM. Which is a weird thing for an English major-turned-librarian to say, perhaps, but there’s something really satisfying about connecting traditional literacies to more recently recognized ones.
I’ve been connected with a lot of great resources through the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, City of Learning, and the Children’s Innovation Project. This week I decided to start pulling some of their information into a new setting – my preschool storytime.
The first week, I’ll admit I copied from the always super amazing Show Me Librarian. She has a showcase of STEAM programs for children, and the one about the Three Little Pigs was just perfect.
We had a small group, so once we danced with our imaginary hula hoops, read through The Three Little Pigs by Bernadette Watts, and retold the story together, we broke out the materials.
I encouraged parents to come down and build. Each child built three small houses – one out of bubble tea straws, one out of popsicle sticks, and one out of Duplos. The kids took about 20 minutes to build all three, though they could have taken much longer. What kid doesn’t like building?
But the real fun was in trying to blow them over. We all blew together and blow the straw buildings apart. Even the stick building fell down with just a good huff and puff (the Big Bad Wolf would be proud). But the Duplos, as predicted, didn’t budge even when we used the Super Big Bad Wolf (aka my blow dryer). The kids loved it. The parents loved it.
And that gave me my opening for talking about integrating more STEM into our storytime. Apparently, a few of the kids had been asking if we were going to do experiments ever since my PreK Art and Science program ended.
The parents are interested in pulling in some more STEAM concepts, and I’m excited to test some of the learning scaffolds that the Children’s Innovation Project has been studying in an informal learning environment.
It’ll be a great experiment in its own right, and hopefully will lead to some really excellent learning and fun here at preschool storytime.