Traveling sparks inspiration for classroom lessons long after my suitcases are put away and pictures have been posted on Instagram. Sometimes the ideas come as I begin to investigate new curriculum. Other times it is a comment from a student that reminds me of somewhere I have been. Or sometimes it is just a connection to a story we are reading.
But if I’m being honest, recently my inspiration has been spurred on each time someone discovers one of my products on TeachersPayTeachers. There is something exciting when another teacher (ones I don’t even know!) think lessons I have created will work for their class too. Everyone at my school already know I am slightly obsessed with anything travel related, so it is great that I am able to share that passion with teachers from other schools around the country.
Since starting my own TPT store I have created small informational text books on places, STEM lessons, graphic organizers, and recording sheets for global math games. Each product I create has a distinctive travel or global theme to it. I figured if I am going to spend time making my own products and lessons, they should center around things I am passionate and knowledgeable about.
Some of the most fun things to create have been my Animal STEM lessons. With new science curriculum for my grade level centered around animals and their habitats, it has been a natural fit with my love of travel. I currently have lessons for:
Kangaroo Rescue– Students create a pouch for a lost joey kangaroo
African Penguin Home Challenge– Students build a home for endangered African Penguins to live in at Boulders Beach in South Africa
Llama Pack Challenge– Students design a pack a llama could carry as they trek through the Andes Mountains
Puffin Home Challenge– Students build a home for a puffin chick from Iceland
Sloth Hammock Hang Out– Students build a hammock for baby sloths to use that are being cared for at rescue centers in Costa Rica
My goal is to create an animal STEM lesson for each continent I have traveled to (all but Antartica) by the end of the school year. Then as we dive deeper into habitats from around the world students will be have a STEM lesson to accompany each place. It will hopefully make the learning more meaningful and most importantly, fun!
I already have more ideas brewing for other animal STEM lessons and I can’t wait to get going creating and sharing them with others!