All this month, our team is sharing ideas, tips and resources for integrating the arts in and through early childhood curriculum. This has been a request from SO many of you and for good reason: working with our “littles” isn’t as easy as just modifying a few curriculum elements. And when it comes to STEAM in early childhood classrooms, it’s easy to feel a little lost since many of the STEAM lesson for children and this concepts seem so BIG for such little people.
So today I’m sharing this great STEAM lesson for children, all about making musical engineers out of our pre-k and kindergarten students. This lesson takes advantage of the fact that our youngest students are inquisitive and tactile who enjoy playing as part of the learning process. But don’t mistake this lesson as “easy”: it’s challenging our students at their deepest levels.
- This lesson provides students with ample time to observe, explore and play with the materials prior to getting started. This is crucial for any PreK/K lesson – students need TIME to see, touch, and hear all of their options.
- Additionally, this lesson puts students into teams which gives them the opportunity to work on their collaboration skills, to get feedback from each other, and to learn how to listen and use the ideas of others.
- The engineering design process is front and center in this lesson. Students move through each phase seamlessly: observing, asking questions, identifying a problem, planning solutions, creating a model, getting feedback and making refinements. It’s all there in one compact lesson plan.
- Finally, this is a great way for students to begin to explore musical instruments and to make choices as composers as to what sounds work best.
About the Standards…
We’ve chosen to use the Kindergarten Next Generation Science Standards and National Arts Music Standards as a benchmark for this lesson since many states utilize these in their current curriculum. Your state may not, so you can always adjust the standards to align with what your district uses.
Also, currently there are very little standards resources for PreK Science/Engineering that are available. This means that some adjustments to the Engineering standard will need to be made, but these should be fairly simple. It may just require more assistance and guidance in each phase of the lesson with our PreK students.
For more FREE Arts Integration and STEAM Lesson for children like this, visit our Lessons Page!
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Susan Riley is the founder and President of EducationCloset.com. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.