STEM 12 Days of Thankfulness
November has begun, the leaves have officially changed, and the holidays are around the corner. It's the perfect time of year to teach our students about gratitude and appreciation. Looking for an engaging way to teach character education skills AND incorporate STEM? STEM 12 Days of Thankfulness contains STEM challenges that focus on creating a product that celebrates the impact that a classmate, friend, family member, teacher, or community member has on your students' lives! It can brighten someone's day AND get those critical thinking skills working!
Start with a morning meeting lesson on what it means to be thankful. Brainstorm ways that you can show others that you're thankful for them. (Saying thank you, writing a note, complimenting someone, expressing your appreciation for them.) Explain the meaning of gratitude and appreciation as well.
Have students work on the Day 1 Challenge first. My students work on this project at our classroom Makerspace, however you might choose to do this in a whole group setting. Students thought of someone they're thankful for and created a free-standing word that describes that person. I made a size requirement (no larger than 8 inches) in order to save some supplies. They also had to include a moveable part that shows a picture of that person showcasing that word. For example, a student chose to create something for a friend. They created the word 'Kind' and the picture shows their friend sharing a book with them.
When students finish a challenge, they can present their creation to the person they are thankful for. (It has taken my students 3 days to complete a challenge. They get a total of 30 minutes to work.) To decide which task card to do next, I tell my students that I am on the lookout for a student who is showing appreciation towards others. The student who showcases gratitude the most over the next couple of days gets to scan one of the QR codes. The QR code will say which task card to do next. You could always have students choose a challenge that they want to create or do the challenges in order as well.
One thing is for sure...the special people in our lives are bound to feel appreciated!
-Ashley from Talkin Pinata Teaching