Reading Buddies Build Successful Bridges Together

Reading Buddies Build Successful Bridges Together photo

Classroom collaboration sparked creativity as kindergarten and fifth-grade reading buddies at Nokomis Elementary School teamed up during a recent STEAM activity inspired by a popular fairy tale, “The Gingerbread Man.”

Keri VanDeVenter’s kindergarten class joined Lisa Grant’s fifth-grade class and worked collaboratively to construct a bridge capable of safely transferring the Gingerbread Man from one side of a river to the other. Before students began the hands-on activity, they examined elements of a story, such as setting and conflict, and conducted a test to see what would happen if the Gingerbread Man were to fall into water. 

Beginning the construction process, the teams worked together to draw designs before constructing one from the supplies provided. The supplies included plastic cups, straws, pipe cleaners, tape and marshmallows. 

After the bridges were constructed the buddies tested their bridges in front of the other groups and explained the important design elements they incorporated to accomplish their goal. Each team of buddies successfully tested their bridge and all students enjoyed gingerbread cookies as a celebratory snack.