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March 11, 2015 4 Seuss and STEM Activities By Lindsey Petlak
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

    March is here and that means celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday and Read Across America in a number of fabulous ways all month long! I’m a total #STEMnerd and am always game for integrating STEM into seasonal festivities (see my STEM Valentine’s Day post). I loved sharing my "Top 10 Read Across America Ideas for Upper Elementary," and am excited to share ways to incorporate some Seuss-tastic STEM into your festivities at any grade level!



    Bartholomew and the Ooblek:

    Your kids will have a blast getting ooey-gooey with this fun, hands-on science experiment exploring changing states of matter. See my photos below for real class-tested, teacher-approved photos from our own Ooblek experiments and watch the step-by-step video by Steve Spangler for instructions on how to bring this Seuss-tastic science into your own experiment! This experiment is simple, fun, and great for any age.



    Ten Apples Up on Top:

    I LOVE an engineering challenge, and so do my kiddos. Each week, my colleague Jenna Weinstein and I get our kindergarten and fourth grade classrooms together for literacy-inspired STEM challenges during our STEMagination Station sessions. Naturally, we jumped at the chance to celebrate Seuss’ birthday with some STEM fun, and found Ten Apples Up on Top to be a perfect fit for our weekly STEM challenge.  

    Students were given Keva planks (but you could use ANY building materials, purchased or recycled) and were asked to build a structure at least one yard tall that could balance and hold at least one apple “up on top.” Once students achieved that goal, they worked to improve their engineering designs to add more apples to their structures. In the time we had, students were able to support up to four apples on their yard-tall towers.



    The Lorax:

    This book is such a wonderful story for so many reasons, especially when considering eco-friendly issues and topics of concern. Last year I tried an experiment simulating an oil spill, its impact on wildlife, and cleanup with my class for the first time. It was amazing on all counts, easy to execute, and used household items to make real-world ecological issues come to life in the classroom. Read my previous post, "Real World Science: Gulf Coast Oil Spill," for full details, pre-experiment prep, tech integration, and more!



    One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish:

    This super simple book lends itself to numerous literacy and math activities (including graphing Goldfish colors), but it’s also great for engaging science lessons on colors and color combinations. One of my favorite color explorations is a color-changing milk experiment that is sure to please. Like the oil spill simulation above, I tried this milk and food coloring experiment (courtesy of Spangler) and was more than 100 percent satisfied. With few materials needed and lots of fun for all, this STEM activity is great for any age and pairs perfectly with this classic Seuss tale.



    I hope you'll have fun trying these hands-on STEM activities with your own students!
    Please share if you do use these with your class and share any other Seuss-inspired STEM activities you may love that I haven't thought of and shared in this post.

    Thanks for reading, and see you next week!



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