June 2017 - momgineer

STEM Activities to Support the Study of Edward Tulane


4 STEM Activities to Try When Reading The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

A respected part of the family. Junk at the bottom of the ocean. A confidante. A traveling companion. A journey of the heart and soul, and so much more. This story, told through the eyes of Edward the china rabbit, touches on different walks of life and various tragedies so many of us encounter in our own. It is through these journeys that Edward truly learns about love, loss, and life.

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Because this story has some deeply emotional and melancholy scenes, it may be difficult to process. Having a hands-on project can help young readers process those emotions as well as connect to the story in their own way. I have created a series of STEM activities to be used while studying this book (or to be used after the book is finished). While students are creating their designs, they may feel it is easier to open up about their thoughts on the book and what is going on. Using a stuffed animal, they will follow Edward on his journey.

Design and Create Apparel for "Edward"


A stuffed animal is much easier to deal with than a china doll or animal!

Gather your materials:
  • paper, card stock, vinyl tablecloth, felt, or fabric scraps
  • tape, Velcro or hook and loop sticky dots, or fabric tape
  • stuffed animal
  • buttons (optional, for decoration)
Design and create the clothing or accessory. Take measurements, focusing on important obstacles such as ears or a tail. Even if you are using fabric as the final design, make the pattern first with paper, and then improve it as needed. After the piece is finished, try it on another animal. Does it work? Why or why not? What would Edward think of it? Would he think it was up to snuff?

Design and Create a High Chair for Edward Tulane


Edward spends part of his journey as Susanna, sitting in the kitchen, listening to Nellie. Design and create a chair for your stuffed animal.

Materials needed:
  • card stock, index cards, craft sticks
  • tape
What will the high chair look like? Will your stuffed animal sit in it without falling out?

A Harmonica for Bryce



While most of the challenges focus on Edward, Bryce definitely deserves his own challenge. As Bryce is another young owner of Edward (as Jangles), many of the kids will naturally identify with him. What kind of music did Bryce play to his ill sister? Compose your own harmonica song after making a harmonica!

Materials needed
  • craft sticks
  • straws or toothpicks
  • rubber bands
  • decorative tape (optional)
One rubber band is sandwiched between two craft sticks (and around the outside of one). Two spacers (straws) are placed near the ends. Two rubber bands join the craft sticks together. The portion of the rubber band that is between the craft sticks vibrates as you blow through. How can you change the sounds of the harmonica?

Design and Create a Marionette



Make Jangles dance!

All you need are stuffed animals (with floppy limbs) and string or wires. Add craft sticks to attach the string to if desired. Try to control two limbs independently!

More STEM with Edward Tulane

In addition to the challenges above, I have created a full resource to support the 3 challenges mentioned (with engineering terminology, recording sheets, etc.), and additional challenges. I'd love for you to check it out!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Miraculous-Journey-of-Edward-Tulane-STEM-Challenges-Novel-STEM-Activities-3168927?aref=qtsgcm28&utm_source=Momgineer%20Blog&utm_campaign=Edward%20Tulane



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momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

STEM Tale - The Three Billy Goats Gruff Fairy Tale Activity


Fairy Tale STEM Activity for The Three Billy Goats Gruff

The goats may have gotten past the troll once, but what about crossing the river when the troll comes back?

Materials Needed for this STEM Fairy Tale Activity


  • card stock for the characters and bridge, or use small figurines
  • foam pipe insulation, cardboard boxes and other recyclables, building bricks, etc.

Before Getting Started with the STEM Tale


STEM tales work best if you read the original fairy tale first or do your own storytelling. Discuss the similarities and differences as you read through the story. If you use the resource I've created (linked below) you can make your own characters easily. Otherwise, use small figurines from a barn set or math manipulatives as the goats and troll.


There is also an initial simple bridge you can construct from card stock.

Fairy Tale STEM with the Engineering Design Process 

I have designed STEM tales so that as students read the story, they will follow the engineering design process. What is the problem that needs to be solved in the Three Billy Goats STEM Tale? The goats need to get to the other side of the river, and they are tired of dealing with the troll. To do this, they will outsmart the troll by building a new bridge the troll will be too afraid to go on!

Design a Bridge

After brainstorming bridge design ideas, the students will then choose one to create. They will need to take measurements as well as pick a troll phobia. What are some common phobias people have? The troll below has arachnophobia! He will never want to go near the bridge as long as it looks like spiders have taken over. The goats can cross the river easily now.

Use what you have and let the students run away with their imaginations on this one. You can get creative with the troll character. This troll is apparently afraid of fish!


STEM tales are a great way to foster teamwork and problem-solving. To find the full resource, which includes an 8-page booklet, check list for self-evaluation, and tips, visit this link:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Three-Billy-Goats-Gruff-STEM-Activity-Design-a-Troll-Proof-Goat-Bridge-2846359?utm_source=Momgineer%20Blog&utm_campaign=STEM%20tale%20gear%20series

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To read more about how to conduct a STEM challenge, visit this post:

http://momgineer.blogspot.com/2016/09/how-to-run-successful-stem-tale.html

To see all posts in this series, click here:

STEM Tales Blog Series




momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!