Are you looking for ways to make your Stone Fox novel study more engaging and interactive? One great way to do this is by incorporating book-themed STEM challenges! STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) challenges are hands-on activities that allow students to apply what they have learned in a fun and meaningful way.
By incorporating STEM challenges into your novel study, you can help students connect with the book on a deeper level, while also encouraging critical thinking and problem-solving skills. In this blog post, we will explore some of the ways that you can incorporate fun STEM challenges into your Stone Fox novel study and how these activities can enhance your students' learning experience.
Engaging STEM Challenges to Add to Your Stone Fox Book Unit
1. Design a Dog Sled.
One topic that is covered extensively in the book is dog sledding. Therefore, it would make sense to incorporate dog sledding into a Stone Fox STEM challenge during your novel study unit.
Students could design a sled that could be used in a dog sled race. To do this, they'll need to consider weight, stability, and durability factors. They could use cardboard, straws, or wood craft sticks to construct and test their designs.
Here is a step-by-step procedure for setting up a dog sled STEM challenge:
- Gather materials: You will need materials such as cardboard, scissors, glue, straws, and plastic spoons to create the sled and the dogs. You may also want other materials, such as markers or paint, to decorate the sled and dogs.
- Plan the design: Decide on the size and shape of the sled. Also, select the number of dogs you want to include. You may want to use a reference image or drawing to help guide your design.
- Cut out the sled: Use cardboard to create the sled's base. Cut out two long, narrow pieces for the runners and two shorter pieces for the sides. Glue these pieces together to form the sled.
- Create the dogs: Use the plastic spoons as the bodies of the dogs, and the straws as the legs. Cut out small pieces of cardboard for the heads, and glue them onto the tops of the spoons.
- Attach the dogs to the sled: Use glue or tape to attach the dogs to the front of the sled. You may want to experiment with different configurations to see which one works best.
- Decorate: Use markers or paint to add details and decorations to the sled and dogs. You can make them look as realistic or imaginative as you like.
- Test it out: Once the sled is complete, you can test it out by pulling it across a smooth surface, such as a table or the floor. You may want to try adding different weights to the sled to see how it affects its movement.
2. Create a sled dog team.
Another great STEM challenge you might consider adding to your Stone Fox novel unit focuses more on research. Since the book focuses on dog sledding, you can have students spend some time researching sled dogs, their care, and needs.
Students could create a sled dog team by researching different breeds of sled dogs. This can include their characteristics, such as size, strength, and endurance. They could then use this information to create a team that would be well-suited for a race.
There are several websites that students could use to research sled dogs and their needs. Some options include:
- The International Sled Dog Veterinary Medical Association (ISDVMA): This website provides information on the health and welfare of sled dogs, including nutrition, training, and care.
- The American Kennel Club (AKC) website: The AKC has a page dedicated to sled dogs, with information on the history of sled dogs, different breeds of sled dogs, and the sport of sledding.
- The Iditarod: The Iditarod is an annual long-distance sled dog race that takes place in Alaska. The website has information on the history of the race, the rules, and the dogs and mushers who participate.
- The American Sled Dog Racing Association (ASDRA): This website provides information on the sport of sled dog racing, including the history, rules, and different races that take place.
These websites can provide students with a wealth of information on sled dogs and their needs, including nutrition, training, and care.
3. Conduct experiments on the properties of snow.
Depending on where you live, you might find that your Stone Fox unit falls during the perfect time to incorporate activities involving winter and snow! Incorporating STEM challenges that explore the properties of snow can offer a fun and engaging way to tie the book into the real-world experiences your students are having with the natural world.
Students could conduct experiments to learn more about the properties of snow, such as its melting point, density, and conductivity. They could use this information to understand how snow affects sledding and how to choose the best type of snow for a race.
4. Calculate race times.
If you're looking for a fun way to build math skills into your Stone Fox novel study, consider a STEM challenge focused on calculating race times. It makes a perfect review of elapsed time!
Students could use math skills to calculate the estimated time it would take for a sled dog team to complete a race based on factors such as distance, speed, and rest breaks. They could compare their predictions to actual race times to see how accurate their calculations were.
5. Create a model of an irrigation system.
If you're preparing to study natural resources or plants while reading Stone Fox, it might make sense to incorporate a STEM challenge related to Little Willy's struggle to keep the farm going. One fun STEM challenge students could do is to create a simple farming irrigation system using materials like plastic bottles and straws.
To begin, students could start by sketching out their design on paper. Have them consider factors such as the size of the irrigation area, the amount of water needed, and the materials they have available.
Next, students could gather plastic bottles, straws, and a water pump. They could then use these materials to build their irrigation system, attaching the straws to the bottles to create a network of tubes and using the water pump to move the water from one end to the other.
Once complete, test it out by adding water and observe how water flows through the tubes. This activity can help students understand how irrigation systems work and how they are used to water crops.
These STEM Challenges will build engagement with your Stone Fox Novel Study
Incorporating STEM challenges into a Stone Fox unit is a great way to make the novel more interactive and engaging for students. These hands-on activities allow students to apply what they have learned in a meaningful and fun way. They also encourage critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Whether you choose to build a model dog sled, create a model of a farming irrigation system, or design the perfect dog sled team, there are plenty of ways to get your students excited about science, technology, engineering, and math while they read about this classic children's book.
So why wait? Start planning your STEM challenges today and watch your students' learning come to life!