He Huffed and Puffed Revisited

Last week I revisited one of my favorite lessons, and most popular posts, The Big Bad Wolf!  I busted out my old hairdryer and taped on some new ears, and we were in business.  

Originally, the lesson was part of a fairy tale unit I did with kindergarteners.  It's an awesome STEAM lesson where you build a pig house using fun materials and then see if the Big Bad Wolf, aka my hairdryer, can blow it down.  

This year, I had fun with my second grade class after reading "Ant and the Three Little Figs" along with a variety of other Three Little Pig stories, our favorite being The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.  We also got to talk about force, stability, weight, problem-solving, predictions, and balance.  It's all in there!
 I followed the lesson pretty much true to the original and had similar results.  The changes, however, were due mostly in part to older age of the kids.
Everyone was insanely jealous of the group that got to build with Legos, because they knew without a doubt that the Lego house was the strongest.  I felt that some kids turned it into a contest instead of really seeing what their material could do.
The pipe cleaner and deck of cards groups basically felt defeated before they began and had some trouble working as a team (I had 3 kids per group).  We did get a big laugh when the pipe cleaner house just blew off the table!
The house of recycled boxes did quite well.  I was impressed with their strategy to put boxes inside of boxes to give the structure more weight.  It stood up quite well to the Big Bad Wolf!
Next time, I think I'll allow the kids to choose their materials so that they have more at stake and perhaps take out the Lego option all together.  If you've tried this activity with your students, I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

What can your wolf blow down?!

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