The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka is a great children’s book about the three little pigs written from the perspective of the ‘big bad wolf.’ Of course, he doesn’t think he’s all that big and bad. After all, he was just a wolf in need of a cup of sugar who happened to have a terrible cold!
STEM Activity: Have students watch this video or read the story aloud. Have students complete 3 small STEM challenges to warm up. Students should work on each challenge as a group of 3 or 4 for about 5 minutes each.
- Build a house of straws (provide straws and 5 pieces of tape)
- Build a house of sticks (provide popsicle sticks and 10 pieces of tape)
- Build a house of bricks (provide LEGO bricks)
After each challenge, walk around with a hair dryer and try to ‘blow down’ the students’ houses. For extra giggles, wear a wolf costume, or, if that isn’t feasible, make ears, eyes, and a nose from paper and tape them to the hair dryer!
After the small challenges are complete, have students complete a larger STEM challenge in the same groups, but this time allowing 30 minutes. Using straws, popsicle sticks, and an entire roll of tape, (they will not use the LEGO bricks for this challenge) have students build a house that can withstand a hurricane, earthquake, and tsunami.
After the students have built their houses, tape the houses down to a table. The goal of the testing is to simulate a hurricane, earthquake, and tsunami. To simulate a hurricane, use a hair dryer on the highest setting. Simulate an earthquake by shaking the table for a set amount of time and then simulate a tsunami by dumping water directly on the houses.
After the activity, discuss the building methods that worked and others that didn’t. Depending on the age of the students, additional measures can be taken to incorporate the scientific method and more comprehensive research.