Sports STEM Ideas For Elementary

Even during a crazy time in history, there are some activities that we find a way to continue no matter what. And one of those is SPORTS! As we draw closer to the 2021 Super Bowl, Americans are excited to watch our best football teams compete.

Just about any time of year you can find adults and kids competing on teams, watching sports, or reading about sports topics. Sports provide welcome entertainment, and are a huge part of many of our students’ lives. 

Whether they are playing themselves or watching games on screens, students enjoy all kinds of sports. That makes them a perfect tool to use in the classroom! Using sports as a springboard for lessons will engage students because it is relatable and fun.

They will enjoy seeing their favorite sports in the classroom, and you will have students who are ready to learn new skills!

One of my favorite ways to bring sports topics into the classroom is through STEM activities. STEM lessons are usually exciting in themselves, but adding a sports element can get even the most reluctant learners engaged.

 My Sports STEM Bundle is the perfect way to add these activities to your own classroom!

Sports STEM

 This sports STEM bundle includes activities for NINE different sports, including:

  • Football
  • Baseball
  • Soccer
  • Bowling
  • Ping Pong
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Car Racing
  • Basketball
sports stem

Your students will love seeing their favorite sport spotlighted during some of the activities. They will participate in Lego challenges and other fun projects while testing and collecting data. 

While students are engaged in designing, engineering, and building, they will learn valuable skills. Science, math, reading, and writing skills are all addressed in fun activities.

The lessons are project-based and ready for face-to-face and distance learning. With the huge selection of activities included, you will have sports STEM activities at the ready for any season.

sports stem

Get your students excited about STEM through sports!

sports stem

If you want more STEM activities for your elementary students, check out my post here!

Winter STEM Activities And Books For Elementary

Winter is now in full swing and with the holidays behind us, the days can feel kind of  long and cold. Furthermore, students may be feeling a little less than enthusiastic about coming back to school after the holiday break. Now is a great time to re-energize the kiddos with some fun activities and lessons.  

If you know me, you know I love to connect all of my lessons to a good book. It’s just so engaging to introduce my students to a great new book and then do an exciting activity related to the story.  In the winter, I like to read books with a winter theme and then do a fun winter STEM activity to go along with it. STEM time is a time when students get to use their creativity to design and engineer new things. The combination makes for a memorable and fun lesson!

Here are some of my favorite winter books to connect to winter STEM activities

  1. How To Catch A Snowman by Adam Wallace
  2. Snow by Uri Shulevitz
  3. The Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll
  4. The Sneezy Snowman by Maureen Wright
  5. Snowmen At Night by Caralyn Buehner
  6. Snowflakes In Photographs by W.A. Bentley
  7. Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
  8. The Story Of Snow: The Science Of Winters Wonder by Jon Nelson
  9. Curious About Snow by Gina Shaw

You can check out all of these fantastic winter reads here! 

I follow up these stories with a snow or snowflake themed winter STEM activity

My Snowflake STEM Challenge connects to the books Curious About Snow by Gina Shaw,  Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner, and Snowflake Bentley by Martin.

This Snowflake STEM Challenge will give students the opportunity to research the snowflakes as they design and create snowflakes. You can even use this resource for distance learning with Google Slides. Your students will love designing, creating, and engineering beautiful winter snowflakes. Students will problem solve and think critically as they complete their challenges.

winter stem

Included with this resource, you’ll get: 

  • Teacher Pages
  • Lesson Plans (Day 1-4) 
  • Google Slides Link 
  • Next Generation Standards and Common Core with Material List
  • Website and Resources
  • Snowflake pictures
  • Vocabulary Cards
  • Design a Snowflake Challenge
  • Snowflake Research and Writing Pages
  • Engineering Design Page 

Everything you need for winter STEM lessons! 

winter stem

If you are looking for more winter STEM challenges, you can check out my Winter STEM Challenges for the month of January. This project based learning resource includes glove experiments, bird feeders, winter road safety, and cable cars. 

What winter activities do you like to do in your classroom? Let me know in the comments!

Fun Ways To Teach About Other Cultures

Most students in America know all about how we celebrate holidays here. They have family traditions that they have been doing since they were born. They know that in December many people celebrate Christmas where we put gifts under a beautiful tree. Soon after that we have our New Year’s celebrations where we come together to countdown to midnight on the first day of the new year. 

We know that it is great for our students to understand our own holidays and traditions and why we do them. And while that is important, it is also good for us to teach about other cultures around the world. Students can build cultural awareness and acceptance by learning more about how other countries and cultures celebrate during their own holidays. 

Ways to teach about other cultures

One way I do this is by teaching my students about Chinese New Year. Also referred to as the Spring Festival, it is one of the most important holidays in China. It is celebrated for 7 days with a great festival. It takes place at the beginning of the Chinese lunar calendar, usually sometime in January or February.

It is celebrated with red lanterns, family dinners, fireworks, parades, and the gifting of red envelopes. These contain lucky money for the kids to bring them good fortune.  

I created some STEM activities for my students to learn about these traditions in a fun and engaging way with my Chinese New Year STEM Resource.

It includes a research guide so that your students can do their research to learn more about the holiday. There is also a design a chinese lantern STEM challenge as well as a design a dragon STEM challenge. This is a digital resource which means it would be the perfect addition to your distance learning lessons this year. 

teach about other cultures

For more holiday STEM challenges, check out my post here!

Another way you can teach about other cultures is by using my STEM World Landmarks Activities and Celebrations Bundle.

teach about other cultures

With this resource, you can teach your students about different landmarks around the world like Stonehenge, The Great Pyramids, The Eiffel Tower, and more. You’ll get 13 different famous landmarks or celebrations to research and design structures resembling the landmark or the event.

What ways do you like to teach different cultures? Let me know in the comments?

Are You Ready For 2021?

Are you ready for 2021? 2020 has certainly been an eventful year for most of us. We’ve all seen the memes about how 2021 better be a good year, can’t wait for this one to be over, etc. 

However, it might be a good idea to take a few minutes and think about the good things that came out of the year. 

Perhaps you were able to spend more time at home with your family, or you participated in creative activities you’ve never had time to do in the past. Many people have taken up new hobbies, or served their communities with acts of kindness. Your students may have successfully navigated virtual or in-person learning, or a combination of both. Reflecting on the positives of 2020 is a great way to gear up for 2021. 

One way to get your students excited about the new year is to teach them about goal setting. 

The all-too-common New Year’s Resolutions many of us make (and sometimes break) each year are fun to discuss, but providing students explicit instruction on setting goals can positively affect their lives in the long run. Even at a young age, students can learn how to set realistic goals and achieve them. 

My New Year’s 2021 Resolution Writing set is a great way to introduce writing goals.

New Year

There also pages to help students reflect on 2020. Students can also set specific goals for reading and math, helping them learn how to make measurable goals. All of the activities are ready to use and are perfect for the first days back in class in the new year. 

New Year

Another way to celebrate 2021 is to learn about the Chinese New Year.

Using the STEM Chinese New Year and Research Guide is an easy way to get kids thinking creatively. They will use their writing and reading skills to research Chinese New Year celebrations, and use their engineering skills to design a lantern and a dragon.

New Year

Students will enjoy getting to use their creativity, and you will love that the lessons are ready to go. This set of activities is perfect for digital learning as it uses Google Classroom and digital slides. 

New Year

Enjoy jumping in to 2021!

Are you setting any New Years resolutions? Let me know in the comments!

For more writing activities, check out my Writing Prompt bundle here!

Adding 5 Days of Holiday Fun Themes to Your Classroom

Making a special week everyone will remember!

The week before holiday break is a week full of energy and excitement in any elementary school. I love how our school leaders makes us feel loved and appreciated throughout the week before Christmas Break. As an Elementary Teacher, this then gives us the extra energy needed to pass on that joy of the holidays to our students. Creating a positive school culture where you go the extra mile, starts at the top. Seeing our school administration taking the extra time to make everyone feel valued and loved fills your cup. Then as a teacher you can pour out extra joy in your own classroom with some holiday fun.

Holiday Fun Theme Days

  • Grinch Day: wear green
  • Reindeer Games
  • Candy Cane Day: red and white
  • Deck the Halls: Tacky Sweater Day
  • PJ Day: Donuts (yummy treats)

This year has been tough, but nothing has been taken for granted. I never dreamed we would finish the first semester and we just did! We only went remote for a week! Wow, it was an accomplishment. It will be the little things that our students will remembered the most and the things that made school feel normal again. Some classroom taught about Holidays around the World. Kindergarten teachers made a Gingerbread Man and then chased him around the school. Some classroom participated in STEM Holiday Challenges. Looking for other holiday fun December Activities Check out this Creative Christmas Ornaments Blog Post.

holiday fun

Creative Christmas Ornaments for Students To Make

When choosing holiday activities for the classroom, ornaments can be a perfect item for students to take home and share with their families. Rather than bringing home another coloring sheet or drawing, students can create ornaments that their families can enjoy year after year. As children grow they can look back on their creations and remember their year in your classroom! 

Here are a couple of my favorite ornaments to make with my students.

One of my favorite ornaments to make with my students is this Christmas Memories ornament.

This ornament is created using questions on small pieces of paper. Students answer the questions, fold the paper, and insert the paper into a clear ornament. You can use different colored paper for different questions, creating a colorful ornament. 

The completed ornaments are similar to time capsules in that students can remove the papers later and read their answers with their family. How much fun would it be to revisit their opinions ten years from now? This activity is sure to be a special keepsake for parents as their children grow. 

christmas ornaments

The best part is, you can get this ornament completely FREE here. 

Another option for creating ornaments is my Christmas Ornament Challenge.

This STEM activity allows students to use their creativity and problem solving skills while designing cute Christmas ornaments.

christmas ornaments

 In completing the STEM activity, students will learn about the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and complete research. They will also make connections to The Carpenter’s Gift by David Rubel. Students are encouraged to think outside the box with this activity as they engineer new Christmas ornaments. Your students can get creative with this activity while learning about economics. A win-win! They will enjoy getting creative while learning about history and literature. 

christmas ornaments

For more STEM activities that you can do with your students this winter season, check out my post here.

I hope you and your students make some ornaments this year that can be enjoyed for years to come! 

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