Rahm's Readers: Full STEAM Ahead
Choose a title and use any materials you have around the house to complete the design challenge! Work through the book levels, or invite your friends to compete on the same challenge.
- In Birds by Kevin Henkes, a child enjoys watching and listening to birds of every size, shape, and color. Create a bird that has never been seen before and imagine what its song would sound like.
- In Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman, Bot needs a fix-it manual for Boy. Make a fix-it manual to help Bot figure out how to help Boy when he is hungry, thirsty or bored.
- In Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina, the naughty monkeys steal all the peddler’s hats. Design a machine that will keep the peddler’s hats on his head for his next nap.
- In Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems, Pigeon is desperate to get behind the wheel of the bus, but is never allowed to fulfill his dream of driving. Make a vehicle that the pigeon could drive around safely.
- In Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, that rascally Duke tries to steal Annabelle’s box of yarn and keep all the magic for himself. Create a burglar alarm that Annabelle could attach to the box.
- In Froggy Builds a Tree House by Jonathan London, Froggy drops the pizza he is trying to carry up to his friends in their tree house. Create a machine to get the pizza safely into the treehouse.
- In The Gingerbread Boy by Paul Galdone, the gingerbread boy needs help from a clever fox to cross the river. Create something to help the gingerbread boy get across the river without help from the fox.
- In Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann, gorilla steals the zookeeper’s keys and lets all the animals out so they can snuggle in to sleep with the zookeeper and his wife. Create a special keychain that helps the zookeeper keep track of his keys!
- In How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers, a young boy devises various ways to try to catch a star in the sky. Create a way to catch a star.
- In Huff & Puff by Claudia Rueda, the pigs’ houses just keep getting blown down! Build a house that won’t fall down when someone huffs and puffs at it.
- In The Perfect Square by Michael Hall, Square was happy until someone cut him into pieces, put them together in unusual ways, and made beautiful pictures. Can you cut or tear the square into different shapes and make a picture?
- In Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas, Bob warns the others about the “monster” with the broom and the vacuum cleaner. Design a device to warn the dust bunnies when the vacuum cleaner is taken out of the closet.
- In Robot Zot by Jon Scieszka, Robot Zot wants to conquer the earth. He lands, and launches his attack. Create something to prevent robots from attacking your home.
- In Silly Goose’s Big Story by Keiko Kazka, Wolf has Goose and won’t let go! If only we could scare him away, Goose would be saved. Create something that will save Goose.
- In This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen, big trouble is right behind the little fish. Create a watery hiding place to camouflage the little fish and his blue bowler hat.
- In Benny and Penny in Lights Out! by Geoffrey Hayes, Benny and Penny have to go outside in the dark to rescue Benny’s pirate hat. Create something to protect them outside after dark.
- In The Big Fat Cow That Goes Kapow by Andy Griffiths, cows explode! Create something to contain the mess from an exploding cow.
- In The Big Science Fair by Dan Yaccarino, Blorp designs and builds a can opener as his science project but his classmates use it as a jungle gym. Design and build a piece of playground equipment for you and future children.
- In the Commander Toad series by Jane Yolen, Commander Toad and his crew fly the spaceship Star Warts. Build a spaceship for Commander Toad and his crew.
- In Fancy Nancy at the Museum by Jane O’Connor, Fancy Nancy thanks her teacher by painting her portrait (a portrait is a picture of a person). Create a portrait for someone you want to thank without using paint, crayons, pencils or any other drawing tool.
- In The Fly Flew In by David Catrow, a fly causes all sorts of problems when it flies in to the middle of an opera performance. Design a fly trap to catch the fly and get him safely outside without interrupting the opera.
- In Fly Guy vs. the Flyswatter by Tedd Arnold, Buzz and Fly Guy go on a field trip to a flyswatter factory where Fly Guy is attacked by a giant robotic flyswatter named Super Swatter. Create something to prevent a robotic flyswatter from attacking you.
- In Hide-and-Seek All Week by Tomie DePaola, no one seems to be able to agree on rules for their game. Create a decision-making tool to help them decide.
- In Meet Teddy Rex! by Bonnie Williams and John Gordon, humans cannot ROAR as loud as Teddy the Tyrannosaurus Rex... or can they? Invent a device that will make your voice louder.
- In Mouse and Mole: Fine Feathered Friends by Wong Herbert Yee, Mouse and Mole come up with a way to get close to the birds without scaring them. Create a way to get the birds to come close to you.
- In Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel, Owl ends up with an ice cold mess inside his house when he invites Winter in as his guest. Create something to keep Winter out of your house.
- In Penny and Her Marble by Kevin Henkes, Penny finds a marble lying in the grass. Create something to pick up a marble without using your hands.
- In Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover by Cece Bell, Robot falls asleep because his batteries are low. Create a power source for Robot that does not use batteries.
- In Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems, Elephant's ice cream melts before he can share it with his friend Piggie. Help Elephant find a way to share his ice cream before it melts!
- In Snow Games: A Robot and Rico Story by Anastasia Suen, Robot and Rico play in the snow using sleds, skis, tubes, and more. Design a robot who would be perfect to play with in the snow.
- In Bad Kitty Gets a Bath by Nick Bruel, Bad Kitty fights back against bath time. Create armor to protect you when you are giving Bad Kitty a bath.
- In The BFG by Roald Dahl, Sophie learns that the BFG’s swiveling ears and his amazing sense of hearing allow him to hear dreams floating around Dream Country in order to catch them in his net. Create a dream-catcher.
- In Captain Awesome vs. Nacho Cheese Man by Stan Kirby, Nacho Cheese Man (Charlie) thinks that Aliens have stolen Captain Awesome’s brain and replaced it with an alien robot brain. Create something to keep aliens from stealing your brain.
- In Dark Day in the Deep Sea by Mary Pope Osborne, Jack and Annie are zapped by the Magic Tree House to an island and are picked up by a ship that’s a floating science lab looking for undiscovered sea creatures. Create a device that can locate sea creatures.
- In Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, Brian becomes stranded in the Canadian wilderness and only has a hatchet to stay alive. Create something that will help you survive in the wilderness.
- In The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, Bilbo needs to find another way to do dishes before the dwarves break all his plates after the Unexpected Party. Make a dirty dish catcher.
- In The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards, Ben, Tom, and Lindy Potter achieve their goals with help from Professor Savant who trains their imagination using sympathetic, scrappy hats. Create your own sympathetic, scrappy hat that will enhance your imagination when you wear it.
- In Lulu and the Duck in the Park by Hilary McKay, Lulu finds a duck egg in the park that she has to hide from her teacher and keep safe until it hatches. Create something that will help keep a duck egg safe.
- In Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose, B95 is a red knot, a 4 oz. shore bird that is over 18 years old and has flown enough miles in his lifespan to travel to the moon and halfway back to Earth. Design a pair of wings to take you to the moon and back.
- In NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society by Michael Buckley, fifth-graders run a spy ring from inside their school. Design a high-tech espionage device they could use.
- In Skyscrapers! Super Structures to Design and Build by Carol A. Johmann, there are many activities inspired by real skyscrapers. Create your own skyscraper.
- In Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz, Mr. Grisini, an 1860 London puppet master, kidnaps twelve-year-old Clara for ransom and magically turns her into a marionette. Build a puppet or marionette.
- In The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger, Dwight wears a Yoda-shaped finger-puppet that predicts the future. Create a finger-puppet of your own.
- In The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin, J.J. Tully’s trouble with the chickens start with a sneaky, no good, double crossing lie. Create something that will help J.J. detect lies.
- In Who Could That Be at This Hour? by Lemony Snicket, many cases of mistaken identities are encountered. Create a device that would allow you to see true identities.