Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Dinosaur STEM Unit

The end of the school year is beyond hard.  The kids are tired of school and so are we.  So how do we keep the kids learning?  How about a dinosaur unit?  This isn't your typical dinosaur unit because the focus is on STEM projects.  I integrated math, research, writing, and science.  My kids had a blast!  Here are the STEM projects that we did in our unit.

Dinosaur STEM unit with integrated math, research, writing, and science.

When the kids arrived on Monday, I decorated my door so it looked like giant palm trees.  When students entered the classroom, I had a thunderstorm soundtrack playing in the background.  After the class was settled, I read a letter to them.  It told the students that they were on the field trip of a lifetime.  Together we were going to sail around the coast of Florida.  While we were sailing, a huge storm came out of nowhere.  The ship rocked back and forth (give lots of details to get the kids really involved.)  The letter ends with the boat running ashore and the captain is missing.  The ship has a giant hole and is slowly sinking.  The class works together to get as many supplies as possible off of the ship before it sinks.

STEM Project 1:  Build a shelter so you can stay dry.  The shelter must also withstand a windstorm (hairdryer or small fan.)

Dinosaur Stem Unit with QR codes for easy research

STEM Project 2:  Our shelter is weatherproof and strong.  Now we need something to eat.  While exploring the island, we found a huge grove of fruit trees.  The problem, there's a river between us and the fruit trees.  Bigger problem:  there are huge monsters living in the river.  We must build a bridge to get across the river safely.  Bridge must be at least 7 inches long.

Dinosaur Stem Unit with QR codes for easy research

STEM Project 3:  We made it across the river and collected a lot of fruit, but now we need to keep it dry and away from the animals living on this island.  Students must build a food storage container.  It must float (in case it gets washed into the river) and it must keep the food dry.

Dinosaur Stem Unit with QR codes for easy research

STEM Project 4:  Build a catapult.  We are certain there are dinosaurs roaming the island.  Now we must build a catapult to defend ourselves.

Dinosaur Stem Unit with QR codes for easy research

STEM Project 5:  We decided to make a break for it.  Anything is better than living on this crazy island full of dinosaurs.  Students must build a raft to escape.

STEM Project 6:  Our raft worked, but we will never survive the ocean on a raft without anything else.  What were we thinking?!  We must add a shelter to keep the sun off of us.  We also need to add our food storage container and fresh water.

Success!  We made it to civilization and escaped from this crazy island of dinosaurs!  I hope you will try some of these STEM projects into your dinosaur unit.  I have this entire unit for sale in my TpT store if you want all of the directions in one place and it also includes all of the QR codes to make research a breeze.  


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