Humpty Dumpty STEAM

 

Humpty Dumpty is a nursery rhyme that I usually use for a STEAM lesson plan because it is a great way to incorporate science, technology, engineering, art, and math, but also, literacy and music.

On the one hand, you can do different experiments to reinforce the concepts of sinking and floating. For example, I fill a clear jar with water and place Humpty in, as you know, he should go right to the bottom. Then, I ask the students what they think will happen if you add some salt to Humpty’s water and stir each time to dissolve the salt. As we know, the salt makes the water denser than the contents of the egg, so Humpty will float to the top of the jar.

Another experiment that could be used to introduce the concept of solids, liquids and gases is to place Humpty into some vinegar in a see-through container and leave him for a few days and do some regular observations. There would be bubbles forming around the egg within an hour, so we can ask our students what they think the bubbles are. The bubbles are created by air escaping from the inside of the egg as the shell starts to break down. Chicken eggshells are mostly Calcium and the acid of the vinegar eats almost the entire shell away after just a few days. The students would also be able to see through the egg, and notice how the yolk moves inside the egg to always stay up. And, after a few days, they also may be able to gently bounce the egg.

But students can also predict whether or not Humpty Dumpty, a hard-boiled egg, will crack when dropped off the wall surrounded in different materials such as feathers, cotton balls, etc. I gather 6 sandwich bags and fill them with different materials, as I said before: marbles, a piece of foam padding, bubble wrap, feathers, shredded paper and beans. Students feel all of the materials in the bags and we discuss if they are soft or hard, heavy or light, etc. Then they will have to make prediction of whether the egg would crack when dropped in the different bags. Then, I put the eggs into the bags and as we repeat the nursery rhyme different students drop the eggs. After dropping all of the bags, I remove the eggs and we record the results on a worksheet. On the other way, with the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme we can also do activities on rhyming words and word families. Students will have to find the rhyming words, wall and fall, men and again. After this, I reread the nursery rhyme once again to teach about word families. I introduce the -all word family and brainstorm a list of -all words to chart with the class, for example all, wall, fall, tall, ball, hall, etc. Next I start with the -en family. For example, men, ten, hen, pen and so forth. Now it’s music time! Humpty Dumpty is a great nursery rhyme to keep a beat. And, as we all know playing a drum is a fun activity for children to be introduced to music and also to learn how to keep a beat. So students will make drums to play at the same time as they recite or read aloud the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme. Here you have the instructions to make an easy drum with recycled materials.

Materials: • empty cartons, tins, pots or jars • plastic bags, fabric or a balloon (with the right size because it is going to be the head of the drum) • rubber bands or string • paper and tape • stickers, paint, or markers for decorating • drumsticks: unsharpened pencils, chopsticks, wooden spoons, small wooden dowels…

Steps: First, they have to cover the sides of their container with bright paper or paint them. They can also use other materials to decorate their drums. Then, they will use a plastic bag or fabric and cut it in a circular shape to cover the top of the drum. They have to make sure they cut a large enough circle that the sides fold down over the lip of the drum. Or, they can cut the mouthpiece off of the balloon, but if this, they have to make sure they only cut the mouth piece and not the body of the balloon. After that, they have to secure the circle of plastic/fabric with a rubber band. The tighter they pull the fabric/ plastic bag or balloon the better sound they will achieve.

Finally, they have to use lightweight wooden sticks to play their drum. So, now it’s time to grab the chopsticks, small wooden dowels, or pencils to make some music!!



Melina Rellán

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  1. Any activity with eggs is guaranteed to be a success, and these drums can sound quite good!

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