This Fall STEM Challenge will not only get kids outside and engaged with nature, it will also encourage them to use their creativity and problem solving skills to create a leaf sculpture greater than 6 inches tall.
Can you make a leaf sculpture?
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FALL STEM Challenge for Kids: Leaf Sculptures
Objective: This lesson will engage early childhood children (Preschool to 3rd Grade) in STEM skills to design and build a leaf structure that is more than 6 inches tall.
STEM Skills Presented in this Lesson:
Science: Children will explore their natural world and learn about photosynthesis and chlorophyll.
Technology: Watch a video clip to introduce children to the terms of colors changing.
Engineering: Design and Build a leaf sculpture that is over 6 inches tall.
Math: The students will measure their leaf sculptures and record their height to the nearest inch on a group chart.
Want more ideas? Explore 50+ Fall STEM Activities for Kids
STEP 1: Nature walk and collect fallen leaves
Go on a walk. Observe the changes fall brings to the natural world. Talk about it.
- What colors do you see?
- How are the leaves changing?
- Where are the leaves?
Collect leaves of varying shapes and colors.
Teacher Notes: Even the youngest child may enjoy and learn from using correct terminology. This helps them to develop a deeper vocabulary base and understanding of scientific concepts. It’s OK and even encouraged to use the BIG words for science.
Photosynthesis is the name for the way that plants use sunlight to make sugars for their food. Chlorophyll, gives leaves their basic green coloring. As the weather cools, leaves shut down their food making process. The chlorophyll, the green from the leaves – leaves.
This is an ideal Fall Stem Activity for Kindergarten and Preschool
STEP 2: Video
Watch a short video clip about the colors changing in the fall. Brain Pop Leaves Video. We use Brain Pop in our classroom, but I am including a free video clip from YouTube that I felt best described the process. It does contain ads. Sorry, I couldn’t find one without ads that was free!
STEP 3 : Set up the FALL STEM Challenge
- Collected Leaves
- Wikki Stix
1. For this challenge, the children will be asked to design a fall leaf sculpture that is greater than 6 inches high.
2. Solve the challenge
First brainstorm ways that you can solve the problem.
- Will you twist?
- Use sticks?
- Build a shape?
Then, try some of these ideas.
Step 4. Test your sculpture to see if it is greater than 6 inches.
If it is not, then it’s back to step 3. Brainstorm ways to make the sculpture taller and try some of those ideas. Re-measure to see if the sculpture is greater than 6 inches.
If the sculpture is greater than 6 inches, then the child will record the data on a group T chart. This can be written on the white board or chart paper. On the left will have the student name, on the right, the height of their leave sculpture.
For more STEM + Art activities for young learners, grab this ebook, STEAM: Preschool Activities for STEM Enrichment, a collection of 25 hands-on STEAM challenges for young learners.
More Fall Stem Activities for Kids
- 50+ Fall STEM Activities for Kids
- Apple Stacking Game
- Pumpkin STEM Activity
- Stacking Pumpkins Activity
- Apple Theme STEM Activity
- 10 STEAM Pumpkin Activities
- DIY Apple Game
- Chalk Numbers with Leaves
- Back to School STEM Activities
- 50+ STEM Activities for Kids
Looking for more Fall Ideas? Check out our 100+ Fall Activities for Kids!
I love this post! Thank you so much for sharing. We were going on a fall walk tomorrow so this is perfect.
Wonderful way to get kids exploring, thinking, and creating this FALL! Our leaves are JUST beginning to turn colors. LOVE this season!
Growing Book by Book says
Can't wait to do this with the kids. Our leaves are so close to turning colors.
Theresa A says
What a fun challenge! I love that you combined it with a nature walk to find building materials. That would make the sculptures special to each of the children after they picked out their own elements.
Cerys Parker says
I love the wikistix – we've got some and can't wait to try this especially now we have leaves turning as well.
Natasha Johnson says
This looks like a fun project. We are going on a nature walk today.
Clarissa Hooper says
That is so cool! I want to sit and try to make these lovely sculptures!
alecia francois says
We love Wiki sticks. Thank you for the great idea!