The Most Magnificent Thing Read Aloud Lesson Plan
STEM is an education buzzword that we don’t see going away anytime soon. Gaining popularity in schools in the United States in 2011, STEM focuses on teaching students hands-on skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
While many people think that these four areas of STEM are meant to be taught on their own, a true STEM education teaches these four different areas as a cross curricular program. This means that students develop an understanding of how what they learn in one subject supports their learning in another subject. Often this is done through project based learning. An example of this may be having students use their math and science skills together to build something that reflects knowledge of engineering or technology skills.
So, how do science, technology, engineering, and math cross over to a read-aloud? Keep reading to learn how we took cross curricular learning one step further for our The Most Magnificent Thing STEM Lesson Plan!
STEM LITERACY ACTIVITIES
While the four areas of STEM continue to gain popularity, some educators feel this focus on STEM has overshadowed other content areas. A common misconception when shifting to a STEM focus is that less attention is needed on literacy and the arts. This is simply not true!
To remedy this initial misconception, a new acronym was created specifically for education programs: STEAM. This adds an “A” to the traditional STEM name to include the Arts. While many teachers applaud this necessary inclusion of the arts, there is still something missing: Literacy!
Even though literacy doesn’t have its own letter – this doesn’t mean it is not necessary. In fact, we will go as far as to claim that it is MORE important than any other content area in a STEM or STEAM curriculum. Why? Simply put, students cannot achieve success in any area of study if they don’t possess the necessary skills to read & comprehend content in all subject areas.
This is why literacy is essential to an effective STEM curriculum. Students need strong reading and writing skills in order to effectively research, comprehend, make connections, and share their findings from a STEM activity.
To help teachers make the connection between literacy and STEM we created STEM literacy activities to go along with some of our favorite read-alouds! STEM read alouds are great for introducing teachers and students to the basic concepts of STEM. They are also great additions for STEM teachers wanting to focus on the literacy piece.
So, what exactly does a STEM read-aloud look like? Let us show you!
The Most Magnificent Thing is one of our read alouds to get a STEM upgrade.
This week-long read aloud includes all of the traditional things you love about read alouds + a STEM challenge at the end. Below is an outline of all the lessons + activities included in this read aloud:
- The Most Magnificent Thing book read aloud growth mindset lesson plans
- Comprehension questions and answer keys
- Most Magnificent Thing character traits activities
- Most Magnificent Thing differentiated graphic organizers and worksheets
- Writing prompt and writing paper
- Most Magnificent Thing craft pattern with instructions
- Digital graphic organizers and activities pre-loaded to Google Slides and Seesaw
- STEM challenge: build a most magnificent thing for the classroom
If you are not familiar with the book The Most Magnificent Thing, by Ashley Spires, it follows a young girl and her dog on a journey of trying to build the most magnificent thing. While she fails in some of her first attempts, she continues to keep trying! This is one of our favorite stories for teaching students about growth mindset.
Growth mindset is another topic that’s grown in popularity over the years in schools. It’s one of our favorite back to school topics, but can be taught any time during the year! When we started to add STEM challenges to our read-alouds, we found that a lot of books focused on growth mindset are perfect pairings for STEM.
This is often because the books that discuss growth mindset show a character trying to overcome a challenge. One goal of a STEM curriculum is to teach students how to apply what they’ve learned to overcome challenges in a real world learning experience. By combining a book on growth mindset with a hands-on challenge, students can apply what they have learned right away in their own lives.
The Most Magnificent Thing read aloud achieves this perfect pairing of literacy & STEM by requiring students to face similar challenges as the character to build their own most magnificent thing!