Today we are embracing the A in STEAM. Nope, not Arts, instead the A stands for Astronomy today! We had so much fun creating this Space themed STEAM Story Writing Challenge that includes templates for puppets kids can use to illustrate their book or use in a performance of their story.
Elementary STEAM Writing Project
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As a writer I love incorporating imagination and story writing into as many projects as possible. I believe students gain so much from processing their lessons into a storytelling session. Whether they write their story, verbally share, or perform their imaginative adventures, storytelling is a powerful medium for learning.
With this activity we are challenging students to create their very own STEAM story about space and astronomy.
Replacing the A in STEAM – From Arts to Astronomy
I am sure you know all about STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, but did you know the A can represent other things? Some people like to use the A to represent Art, but others like Aerospace, Aviation, Aeronautics, or Astronomy.
Do you see a theme here?
So for this challenge we wanted to embrace the space theme!
One of the biggest challenges I hear from kids is that they don’t know where to start with their stories. For this challenge we provide a starting point by having them create little craft puppets first to inspire their work.
It is amazing how having these little puppets helps students drop their nerves, stop over thinking and just let their imaginations go wild as they tell their stories.
We will get to how to record those stories after we explain how to make the puppets.
Space Puppet Supplies
Colored craft papers
Space Puppet Template – Members of STEAM Powered Family get it free!
How To Make Space Puppets
15min 15 minutes
These steps take you through making the Astronaut Puppet. Repeat for all the other puppet designs or get creative and make your own space puppet designs.
- Cut out the parts
Select colored craft papers for the craft and prepare the template patterns by printing and cutting them out nicely. Use a pencil to trace the patterns on the selected craft papers and cut them out using scissors. Let’s start with the astronaut puppet craft. The astronaut patterns include a base body pattern (suit), a pair of boots and other patterns.
- Assemble the base
Attach the big square on the top side of the base body pattern (the head). There should be small squares and a relatively bigger square; attach the small ones on the big square.
- Start adding the accents
Grab the 4 small strips and attach them on the arm and leg parts of the base body pattern. Also, attach the small square attached square in the middle of the body part of the base.
Use scissors to trim the extra sides of the strips attached to the arms and legs of the astronaut suit.
Attach the boots on the bottom side of the astronaut suit and attach the ear plugs on both sides of the head part (of the suit).
- Unleash your inner artist
Use a pencil to draw the face of the astronaut on the square paper attached to the head part. Use a black pen to fill the pencil traced patterns.
- Add the stick
Attach the astronaut puppet on a craft stick to complete the puppet. Your astronaut puppet is finished!
Writing the Space Story
Now it’s time for the students to reveal their inner novelists and tell their stories. There are many ways students can share their STEAM Story and the most important thing is to try and remove any obstacles to their creativity. So here are a few options. Pick the one that fits your students.
Act Out The Story
The first way students can tell their story is by having them act out the story with their puppets. These can be performed for others or filmed to record it. Some kids may even want to create a stop motion film with their puppets.
This approach can be really successful for small groups.
Encourage your kids to use their crafting supplies to create sets and props for their stories if you use this technique.
Write the Story
Some kids want to write and enjoy putting their words on paper. Let students keep their puppets close by as inspiration as they put their words to paper. Also don’t forget some kids will prefer to type up their stories.
Students can take their puppets and instead of putting them on craft sticks, they can use them as decorative highlights. They can write their story and use the designs to illustrate the story scrapbook style.
Most of all ensure your kids have fun telling their stories that are out of this world!