Emerald Connection, December 12, 2023
By: Emma Griffin
First and second graders are wrapping up their comprehensive unit on Fairy Tales! Using an interdisciplinary approach, students delved into the nuanced story elements of fairy tales in their English Language Arts (ELA) classes. Simultaneously, they engaged in the creative process of crafting fairy tale character puppets during art class, and applied their knowledge to engineer innovative designs for a variety of classic fairy tale stories in their STEAM class.
Within collaborative small groups, students were presented with unique challenges. They were tasked with conceptualizing a chair that Goldilocks couldn’t shatter and devising a trap to catch the elusive Gingerbread Man. Drawing inspiration from “The Paperbag Princes,” the students embarked on a creative journey to design paper bag outfits for an enchanting fairy tale fashion show. In another project, they tackled the engineering challenge of constructing a bridge sturdy enough for the Three Billy Goats to traverse safely.
These diverse projects served as engaging entry points into the realm of fairy tales, providing a delightful fusion of creativity and problem-solving within the framework of the engineering process. Upon reflection, students shared insights into the challenges they encountered during the collaborative endeavors. They highlighted the occasional difficulty of reaching a consensus, the need to formulate a unified idea that resonated with everyone, and the subsequent teamwork required to realize a common goal. These everyday challenges come alive in the classroom through the lens of fairy tales and it’s amazing to see the students use the social-emotional and academic skills needed to be successful!