4 Fun Thanksgiving STEM Activities Your Students will Love

The holidays are quickly approaching, which means tons of fun learning opportunities in the classroom. Holiday time can be super busy and chaotic which means sticking to a routine in the classroom is more important than ever. We all know students can start to get restless before a big holiday break. Channel that energy with hands-on, engaging Thanksgiving STEM activities your students will love! It is an exciting change of pace for students and there are tons of great resources to pull from. Check out some of my favorite holiday STEM projects that will keep your students learning throughout the crazy holiday season!

What are STEM Activities?

STEM projects intertwine science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in a highly engaging way. It connects classroom studies to real-world experiences and helps with problem-solving skills.

STEM is a great way to teach in an interactive way that keeps high-energy students focused and engaged. Using STEM in the classroom is an important way of teaching and introduces students to a very hands-on approach to learning.

Apple Stack Balance & Math Challenge

I wanted to make these STEM activities simple and easy since we are in the midst of a busy season. Most activities incorporate objects and materials found in our classrooms. This particular STEM activity is a favorite for all. It uses cups, linking cubes, wooden planks, and/or legos for the building materials.

You can pick up plastic apples on Amazon or Hobby Lobby. Red and green beads or poms are also a great budget-friendly idea as well! This activity also goes great with the book Apples on Top on Top by Dr. Suess. I love to tie in books to special projects in the classroom.

For this Apple Stack project, students will create their own tower with the building materials provided, and try to balance apples on top.

You will give the students their task cards and at least 20 minutes to build their creations. Encourage students to create several designs and see which one works the best for holding the apples.

Afterward, provide the response sheets which is going to incorporate some math into the activity. On these response cards, they can draw their tower and answer questions about it. Is it symmetrical, how tall did it end up being?

Then they are asked to use their math skills to create equations and word problems to go along with this specific activity. Students will enjoy working together to create a tower and stack their apples!

Apple Tree Building & Math Challenge

This is another fun STEM activity that is perfect for fall. The Apple Tree Building Activity will have students build an apple tree and see how many apples they can balance on it.

Again, this project doesn't take a ton of material so it is simple to set up. You will need cardboard rolls (toilet paper and paper towel), big and small popsicle sticks, and red, green, and yellow poms. Provide students with task sheets, suggested materials and 25 minutes to build and create!

Stop students with 10 minutes left to go and provide the response sheets. On these sheets, the students will record important data from their activities.

Students will draw pictures of their apple tree results, record mathematical information, and equations, and create word problems to go along with them. At the very end, there are certificates and stickers to reward your students with which is a fun touch everyone loves!

Turkey Runaway Zipline Challenge

During the Thanksgiving season, this Turkey Runaway Zipline Activity is always a winner in my classroom. It is so much fun!

This STEM activity requires a few more materials, but is worth it! Gather up some string, tape, index cards, blocks, construction paper, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, and other building materials.

Grab a timer and a ruler from your classroom to use as well. This activity provides you with the turkey props you will want to print and laminate!

Then it is time to create a “zipline” in the classroom. Simply tape a piece of string to something high up in the classroom and have it going down on an incline. Explain to students that they will need to create something to hold the turkey so they can travel down the zipline. Provide students with task cards and at least 25 minutes to design their creations! You can pause the timer with 10 minutes left and hand out the response cards which will add the math element to the STEM activity.

Students will draw and record different information on these cards. This activity pairs wonderfully with the book Run, Turkey, Run, or Turkey Trouble! Your students will love this Thanksgiving-themed STEM activity!

Hidden Turkey Challenge

This is a fun and simple Hidden Turkey STEAM challenge that will showcase students' creativity. The activity doesn't require much planning or prep work.

Students will need their turkey print-out, colored pencils, and any other material to add to their creations like yarn, poms, glitter, buttons, etc.

Students will then create a disguise for their turkey. This is a fantastic activity to go along with the book Turkey Trouble. Ask what is a disguise and why would a turkey want to be hidden during Thanksgiving.

Let students' creativity shine as they pick what to dress up their turkey as you will see some pretty cool choices!

After they are finished, let them share their completed turkeys with the classroom and why they choose that disguise. This is a great activity to hang up on the classroom bulletin board to showcase students' work!

Easy and Affordable Thanksgiving STEM Activities

I know you and your students will absolutely love these easy and affordable Thanksgiving STEM activities. In addition to using easy-to-find and affordable materials, your students will have a blast creating turkey-themed STEM challenges this fall. Be sure to grab this fun and engaging Thanksgiving STEM Fall Bundle now!

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