Fairy Tale STEM Activity for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Can you help Dorothy and the Munchkins use the bricks to rebuild a home for the Munchkins, since their homes are in disrepair?
Materials Needed for this STEM Fairy Tale Activity
- bricks, blocks, dominoes, etc. that represent the yellow brick road. You can change the color to suit the color bricks you have!
- printable characters or small figurines
Before Getting Started with the STEM Tale
First you will need to tell the story of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, or read the book. You should prepare a brick road the a suitable number of “bricks” for students to then disassemble. If you are using interlocking bricks such as legos, you should use a medium to large baseplate. STEM tales work best if you read the original fairy tale first (or do your own storytelling!). This also leads to great discussions during the engineering process, as kids love to compare the original story with the new version.
Fairy Tale STEM with the Engineering Design Process
I have designed STEM tales so that as students read the story, they will follow the engineering design process. First, they need to identify the problem (how to repurpose the bricks to create a stable structure). Good news! If you follow the Next Generation Science Standards, you can use this STEM fairy tale challenge to fulfill the following NGSS* requirement: 2-PS1-3. (Make observations to construct an evidence-based account of how an object made of a small set of pieces can be disassembled and made into a new object.)
Design a Home for the Munchkins
After thinking of some ways to reuse the bricks, your students will then choose one they can build. They will plan out the design, and then construct their home.
After the prototype is built, the kids then test it out! Is it big enough to fit the Munchkins? If something didn’t work right, it’s time to go back and improve the design.
STEM tales are a great way to foster teamwork and problem-solving. This STEM tale usually inspires amazing creativity and excitement from the littlest engineers.
Use the Ideas Above or Get the STEM Tale Resource on TpT
Use the ideas above to create your own challenge or try out this resource I created that guides you through the process:
It includes an 8-page booklet, printable characters, check list for self-evaluation, and a bonus activity. You can find it on Teachers pay Teachers by visiting this link:
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* NGSS is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.”
Kathleen Houlihan is a leader in workforce innovation and she is the Founder of an agency that reimagines talent acquisition and optimizes the system for candidates and employers. Her company, Dream2Career, provides human-centric ROI solutions that filter-in candidates who exceed expectations in the workplace.