By now, I’m sure you have heard of the kid-friendly series called How To Catch A… These books are so fun and the kids love the different shenanigans that can happen throughout each of the individual books. How to Catch a Turkey is one of my absolute favorite books to use during Thanksgiving time. I love how the book encourages students to really think this is related to them. It’s a hystical book and the kids giggle throughout the entire book!
Start with How to Catch a Turkey
For this ELAmentary STEM project, start off by reading the book, How to Catch a Turkey. Encourage the students to recognize what the problem is from the book. I love to really emphasize that this is such a chaotic book.
I will often say OH NO! Don’t do that… or LOOK WHAT THEY ARE DOING!
Once you have finished the book, the kids will be excited and giddy. Now you can give them the letter. The letter is from Max and he is going to challenge you to build a trap for your turkey.
When I first started this project with my students, we only had 2-3 supplies for this build. I give them popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, and glue. I have noticed that students that build the plan first can use these items and nothing else.
However, there are some that can’t understand How to Catch a Turkey with just those 3 supplies. If I notice that some students are struggling with the task at hand, I will provide them with more supplies. I will also provide tape, construction paper, soda pop boxes, cans, markers or crayons. This allows the students to think outside the box with more supplies so they aren’t hindered by the lack of supplies.
Now that the students have their supplies, we can build! Right? Well…kinda. We need a plan and answer some questions. I have my students answer the following questions as part of their build. It helps get their ideas out of their head and onto the paper.
- What do you already know about catching things like turkeys?
- What will your trap look like? How will it be different from your classmates?
- Draw a quick sketch of your trap.
- Explain your design.
- What is one way that you could improve your trap?
- What went well?
questions you’ll probably be asked
- How much time do they have? I give my students about 2 hours broken up over 2 days to complete.
- How big is the turkey? I print out the mini-turkey and it’s about 3 inches tall by 2 inches wide.
- What do you do with the traps afterwards? SEND THEM HOME!
How To catch a turkey elamentary stem project
What if you took the book How to Catch a Turkey and made it STEM? This will resource will encourage your students to think outside the box. They will be engaged with the project because you are integrating more core subjects.