Are you ready to introduce a STEAM activity but you are not quite sure how to get started? Why not start with introducing the process with a picture book? There are some fabulous picture books available now that show the main character planning, creating, revising, working, and learning along the way. Here are five gems my collaborating teacher friend, Becky Granatini, and I have found.
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Have you ever made something that did not turn out as wonderful as you had envisioned? Did you keep working on your creation, hoping to make it better, only to find yourself running into more problems? Well, that is exactly what happens to the adorable little girl in “The Most Magnificent Thing” by Ashley Spires. Unfortunately, the little girl gets so upset about her project not turning out the way she had planned, she decides to walk away from the project to take a break. Sure enough, after the walk, she feels better, and is able to go back to the project and turn her creation into the most magnificent thing. This book describes the process that all of us can relate to when we are working through the creative process, giving children affirmation that taking a break from something when you are upset is a smart thing to do!
It’s Only Stanley by Jon Agee
This book reads like a musical, with rhyming words and repeating lines that make you want to sing! Stanley is a dog who is faced with a problem, although we don’t know what the problem is at first. He gets to work clanking, blubbing, bzzzzing, splishing, splashing, and splooshing to create something pretty amazing. You’ll have to read this book, or sing it, to find out what happens!
Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
Rosie Revere loves to create. She loves to design and make just about anything out of odds and ends. But when people laugh at her mistakes, or when a project doesn’t go right, Rosie gets discouraged and gives up engineering for a while. Fortunately, an aunt encourages her to celebrate her mistakes and learn from them in order to create something great.
Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty
Iggy Peck loves to build, but building creations stresses his teacher out, and she won’t allow it in school. Fortunately, her mind changes when he solves a big problem by making something that saves the entire class and the teacher from being stranded in the woods.
Going Places by Peter and Paul Reynolds
When my son was a lot younger than he is today, we used to play with Legos. I always insisted on following the directions step by step, where he would look at the end design and create something along the same lines, but different. This book reminds me of our Lego building days because Maya, the young girl in the story, has a kit to make something, but she creates something pretty cool and useful instead. You will enjoy the art element in this book, covering the STEAM theme of creativity and self-expression.
If you would like to learn about the activities that go along with these books and generate other STEAM ideas, follow my dear friend Mrs. McSTEAMY’s twitter feed @STEAMGranatini.
Author: Maureen Schlosser
Author: Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades published by ALA Editions