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Through Cross-Curricular Project, Students Bring Fiction to Life

A recent cross-curricular project in fourth grade allowed students to experience every aspect of STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, while applying recently learned Earth Science concepts in meaningful format.
After reading this year’s Global Read Aloud book,The Wild Robot, by Peter Brown, students used the framework of the book in an exciting project. In this action-packed story, readers find out what happens when nature and technology collide. Robot Roz discovers that she is alone on a remote island. To survive, Roz befriends the animals and adapts to her wild surroundings. The island soon begins to feel like home. But, where in the world is this new “home” located? It’s up to the fourth graders to find out! 
 
As students read the novel, they took note of applicable Earth Science concepts within the story, including plants, animals, landforms, and climate. In STEM class, students completed a six-phase journey that allowed them to experience every aspect of STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Students developed predictions for the sequel book using engineering applications. The fourth graders coded a robot while applying essential skills to help assist Roz in escaping the horrible factory. Using Google Earth in STEM class, along with their notes from the book, students analyzed where in the world the island from the book may be located. They built three-dimensional replicas of the island they chose using math and engineering concepts. 
 
Then, it was back to the iPads, where they coded a journey for Roz. Finally, students shared their work with classmates and compared the similarities and differences in their interpretations of the same book. This intricate project allowed students to combine creative elements with analytical research. The result is an interconnected journey that teaches collaboration, ingenuity, critical thinking and more, while keeping students engaged and excited about the work in true STEM fashion.
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