I was recently asked what resources I use to develop lessons that integrate STEM and literacy/picture books. There are mainly 5 different processes I rely on to generate lesson ideas for my students.
Scan The Library
I often love to create unique lesson ideas while sitting among the picture book section of my school’s library. I love to skim the titles, plots, and characters and imagine an engineering challenge that would integrate well with the book.
As you know, kids of all ages LOVE to be read picture books so there is immediate buy in! In addition, well-written picture books include amazing vocabulary, plot development, and social/emotional connections!
They are also usually short enough to provide the foundation for the STEM lesson. If your time is really limited, consider collaborating with the classroom teacher or media specialist (depending on your role) and have them read and discuss the story during their lesson, after which you can conduct the STEM lesson!
If you have a picture book you’d like to use but just can’t seem to think of a good STEM lesson to integrate, reach out! It’s my favorite part of the job!
Connect With Your Twitter PLN
It’s hard to believe it’s been almost two decades since my friend Danita convinced me to join Twitter for professional purposes. It has connected me to the most amazing educators around the globe and provided incredible free professional development!
I tell educators all the time that I can gather AT LEAST 5 new STEM lesson ideas EVERY DAY just by scrolling through my feed.
Because my Twitter PLN is so amazing, I often reach out for new lesson ideas. My post might simply say, “Who’s conducted a great elementary engineering lesson using the book _____?” And the responses start coming!
If you haven’t started connected with other passionate STEM educators on Twitter, I would encourage you to give it a try! Let's connect there!
Utilize Artificial Intelligence
OMG, friends! If you haven’t used ChatGPT or another AI engine (like Curipod - post coming soon) to help you come up with new STEM lesson ideas, stop reading this RIGHT NOW and give it a try!
If you sign up for a free ChatGPT account it will keep a record of all your prompt searches so you can come back to them later. You can also share the results with colleagues! Want to see it in action? Click HERE! Talk about time saving when you are struggling for a new idea!
Search and Curate Pinterest Boards
For many of us this is an oldie but still goodie! Many people use Pinterest for personal interests, but there are amazing educational pin collections as well!
Create or login to your account, type “STEM and Literacy” in the search box and voila! A huge rabbit hole for you to explore for the next several hours! LOL! Don’t forget to create boards of your own to organize all your amazing finds!
I am currently working on creating new boards for my new Collazo Cove account and will be transferring many from my personal collection. Still a work in progress (actually just starting)! But feel free to FOLLOW me now so you don’t miss anything! I want the boards to be helpful to you!
Read Blog Posts
I used to be an avid blog reader when the old Google Reader was alive (yes, I’m that old!). I recently learned about another blog aggregator called Feedly and have started using it.
Blog aggregators collect the newest posts published by bloggers you like to follow and bring them straight to your feed.
Every time I find a new blog that relates to the topic of STEM, I add it to my Feedly collection. It’s like opening an idea treasure box whenever I have a few minutes to skim the posts. HERE is a quick video on how I set it up!
I'd love to know how you generate new ideas to integrate STEM and Literacy! Please share your suggestions! We're better together! If you haven't yet, please join my email list to get all the newest updates from Collazo Cove!
STEM Advocate and Picture Book Author