Monday, February 15, 2021

Our Youngest Learners Became "Star Shiners" As They Learned About Circuits, Electricity and Friendship In This Literacy STEM Activity

I love using picture books as spring boards into creative and engaging exploration with our students.  So many books have not only wonderful stories and illustrators, but also amazing connections to learning. 

One we recently used was The Night The Stars Went Out by Suz Hughes and our friends at Capstone
We love this story about Alien.  As shared by Capstone, 

Alien was the star controller for the entire galaxy, which was a big job for a very little alien. One night something disastrous happens, and Alien faces the biggest problem of his life. Will Alien be able to fix the stars? 
With a focus on friendship and problem solving, this picture book is a treat for everyone.

You will find it here on the Capstone site.
After reading The Night The Stars Went Out, I thought it would be perfect to use to teach our youngest learners about electric circuits while thinking about friendship too. 

For this activity, I went to our TK and kindergarten classrooms and started by reading the book aloud.  
I then explained they would be "Star Shiners" like Alien and light up little stars with their "Star Lighter Kit." 
For each kit, I took a small baggie and added several 5mm LED light emitting diode round of different colors and a few 3V coin batteries.
I then made this little graphic by putting the words Our Star Lighter Kit over the top of the cover.  I printed them in color, cut each out and stapled it to the outside of the baggie. 
As I told the students how to create a simple electric circuit to make their own lights, I also shared the PebbleGo article about Electricity, which does a great job of explaining How electricity works. 
As the teachers and I passed out the Star Lighter Kits, 
they did such a careful job of creating simple circuit with the lights and batteries from the bags. 
They worked together with a partner and figured out how they would make different colored circuits. 
They took their job of being a Star Shiner very seriously and we loved...
...listening to everything they were learning together through this STEM literacy activity. 
We explored and reconfigured several times.  They could have done this activity all day. 
I told them I would be back to another fun STEM literacy activity with them soon.  
If you would like to listen to Suz Hughes read a little of her book, you will find it here.

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