What is STEAM?
STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. These are all important to incorporate into the classroom to give students a chance to use different fields. The recent addition of art is to help students be creative and think critically.
Engage: 3-2-1 Bridge
- Have students think about the phrase “food chain”
- Ask them to think of 3 words, 2 questions and 1 metaphor that comes to mind when they think of “food chain”
- Have them watch the following video:
4. Have the students repeat the 3-2-1 Bridge activity after watching the video.
5. Then have the students talk in their teams to discuss if their perceptions were changed after watching the video and what did not change.
6. Open up a class discussion to see what students learned and already knew about this topic.
Students will use styrofoam cups to create a stacking food chain. They will be prompted to think about a food chain they have seen before. They will print out pictures of the plans and animals they have chosen and put them on the cups. Next, they will write the name of the animals on the cup. They will stack them from producer to consumer.
After every student is finished, they will unstack their cups and mix them up. Students can go around the room and stack up their peers food chains.
Explain: Jigsaw II
Students will work in teams and become experts on the following parts of a food chain: producer, consumer, decomposer. They will research their topics and teach their teem members what they learned.
Elaborate: Chalk Talk
On a big piece of paper the following will be written:
- Would the food chain be effected if one part of it was taken out?
- Would the food chain be effected if another animal was added to the ecosystem?
Students will silently go around the room and write what they are thinking on the paper. Their initial responses should have a box around them. Then the students go around the room to comments on their peers initial comments. The second comments should have a circle around them.
After giving students enough time to make comments on both prompts, the class will discuss what they learned and what they found interesting.
Students would be given a short quiz to evaluate their knowledge of food chains. They will be asked to explain what a producer, consumer, and decomposer is. They will also need to give an example of a food chain. They will be expected to explain what would happen if the food chain was changed with the addition or subtraction of an animal/plant.
Incorporating STEAM in your classroom will help students question the world around them. They will be able to relate what they are learning in the classroom to their own lives. Plus it helps foster intrinsic motivation about their learning.