STEM Activities to Try While Reading Those Darn Squirrels!

STEM Activities to Accompany Those Darn Squirrels!

 

One of the BEST picture books for learning about STEM and the engineering design process is Those Darn Squirrels! by Adam Rubin. Not only is the story delightful and quirky, but the illustrations really bring it to life!

The squirrels are on a mission to get as much bird seed as possible, but Mr. Fookwire tries to thwart them every which way. The squirrels have a lot of tricks up their sleeves, though, and are in possession of numerous talents! One such talent being good at math!

STEM Activity: Design and Create an Abacus

An abacus makes an appearance in two pages of this story, and they can be really fun to use for basic math learning. Do you know how to use an abacus?

 

To keep it simple, just focus on ones and tens! Use beads, pasta, or other items that can easily slide back and forth. The abacus below uses straw pieces that were cut to make the counters.

I love this challenge because you will end up with so many different kinds of abacuses (abaci?!) and then your students can actually use them to work on math skills!

 

STEAM Activity: Design and Create an Easel

Mr. Fookwire loves painting pictures of his favorite birds. Why do artists use easels? How is it different to paint or draw on a mostly vertical surface than on a table or desk? This is a great activity to tie in to art. 

Students can create a mini easel just right for a squirrel to use. Once Mr. Fookwire and the squirrels become friendly, maybe they will paint birds together!

Once again, after students have created their mini easel, they can use it to paint or draw something they enjoyed from this fun read aloud.

STEM Challenge: Design and Create an Obstacle Course!

In the story, Mr. Fookwire creates an elaborate squirrel obstacle course.

Students can either create their own obstacle course or create a scale model obstacle course that you provide them, or find printables and more ideas in this Bookshelf STEM Junior resource.

All of the above challenges really make this read aloud come alive. If you would like printables, more activities, and teacher support materials, please visit this listing:

What are your favorite picture books to read with your students? Let me know by commenting below!

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