Do you celebrate Read Across America Week in your school? And… do you love STEM activities? Check, check! I know I do! One of my favorite times of year is Read Across America Week! I love integrating literacy and STEM challenges! No matter what subject you teach, these fun and simple Read Across America inspired STEM activities are a great way to celebrate literacy and STEM in your classroom.
All of these Read Across America inspired STEM challenges correlate with some of the best Dr. Seuss books around. Take some time to read the stories to your students before they start the challenges, ask a special guest to come in and read, or even invite older students to read to your class. Here are three of my favorite ways to mix the quirky and fun world of Dr. Seuss with STEM challenges.
Setting the Mood
If you are like me and love all things STEM and literacy, I have the perfect way to set the mood. This awesome STEAM Read Across America shirt is the perfect addition to your STEM wardrobe!
The Lorax Truffala Tree STEM Challenge
Dr. Seuss’s books are so wonderfully weird and fascinating, that they can inspire some amazing design ideas.
Dr. Seuss’ book, The Lorax, has funny-looking truffala trees that are perfect for a Read Across America inspired STEM challenge. These trees are a huge part of the book and are so silly looking. I love challenging my students to create their very own truffala trees with random supplies. Then students must see how many pom poms their tree can hold.
Students can also tie in literacy with the Lorax truffala tree STEM challenge by writing about what they created or describing the problems they faced while building. I always remind students of the design process and encourage them to think about how they would improve their creations!
Red Fish, Blue Fish Tangram STEM Challenge
I feel like tangrams are a hidden gem and don’t get all the credit they deserve. I love watching kids engage their problem solving skills when trying to create designs with tangram pieces. There’s a lot of spatial awareness and fine motor skill practice going on when tangrams are around.
The Red Fish, Blue Fish book gives me the perfect opportunity to pull out tangrams for kiddos to use to make their own fish shape. For younger students, I give them the printed fish template and ask them to fit the tangram shapes into it.
My older students benefit from more of a free build challenge. Asking students to build a fish with tangram pieces but without a form, is a fun challenge for students to complete in pairs or small groups. It’s a great way to practice collaboration and communication skills in your classroom.
If you don’t have access to tangrams, no worries! There is a digital Red Fish, Blue Fish set for students to use with Google Classroom or Seesaw. It’s a great way for students to practice manipulating digital objects by resizing, rotating, copying, and pasting objects on the screen to fill in a fish form with digital tangram shapes.
Oh, The Places You’ll Go STEM Challenge
This book has some of the most amazing Dr. Seuss architecture that’s sure to inspire some really fun building designs. This is one of my favorite Read Across America inspired STEM challenges for my students. After reading the book, we talk about some amazing architecture that is found in our world. I provide students with pictures of many famous bridges, buildings, and landmarks. Students will build one or more of these structures to show where they would like to visit.
You can use virtually any type of block to complete this challenge. Wooden blocks, building bricks, or even magnetic blocks all make a great tool for this building challenge. If you don’t have access to these supplies, consider completing the digital version of this activity. Your students will love the digital building blocks and using them to create a variety of structures.
I ask my students to work in small groups for this one to get in some collaboration practice while working on this challenge. To cut down on arguments during the building process, I make sure to ask students to work together to plan out their design before they start building. This could include looking at images of buildings for inspiration, sketching their designs, and listing the materials they will need to complete the challenge.
Create an easy extension activity for this challenge by having students research the place they want to visit and write about it.
The Cat and the Hat STEM Challenge
Can you really have Dr. Seuss themed STEM challenges and not include The Cat and the Hat? I think not!
What’s more iconic from this classic book than the hat. In this challenge, students will stack the Cat’s hats as high as they can. Red plastic cups make the perfect hats for this cup-stacking challenge.
Students love putting their building skills to the test with this challenge. I always love seeing the different approaches they use to make their tall stacks.
Read Across America and STEM for the Win!
I’m so excited for these Read Across America Dr. Seuss inspired STEM challenges. All of these challenges, and more, are in my Simple STEM Activities Bundle for Read Across America week. Make your planning for Read Across America week easy with these ready to use printable and digital Simple STEM activities.
Check out this video to see a preview of some of the amazing Read Across America Inspired STEM activities included in this bundle!
Save these Read Across America STEM Resources
Save these Read Across America Inspired STEM Activities to your favorite classroom Pinterest board so you can come back for more exciting literacy and STEM activities any time!