The Never Starting Tales: Taking ELA and STEM Outdoors

I cannot begin to tell you how many parents have asked me over the past few years how they can get their children outside more and off of devices.  American children are spending 50% less time outdoors than the previous generation.  I was so excited to see that the makers of OFF!® Repellents have created a reinterpreted collection of some of the most popular fairy tales, such as The Three Little Pigs and Cinderella.  The series asks children to think about how some of their favorite fairy tales would have been different if the main characters had never gone outside.  There are also ELA and STEM activities that pair with each fairy tale that encourage children to take their learning outdoors to their own backyards.

You can read the digital books on their website or listen to the audiobook, but they also give you the option to download the e-book.   Some of the books they have reinterpreted are my favorite fairy tales!  These would be great to compare and contrast to other versions of these stories.  Students can make a list of what is the same and what is different between the texts.  They could even create their own fairy tale afterwards and act it out in their own backyard!

Jack and the Beanstalk is a classic fairy tale!  I love the vibrant illustrations in all of the books.  Each book has a strong central message that would make for some great discussions between parents and their children.  Jack and the Beanstalk ended very differently due to Jack not wanting to go outside and do the work his mother asked him to do.  He missed out on a really great adventure.  Hopefully, students can make connections to their own lives within these texts.

Each of the stories has a paired STEM or ELA lesson included.  After this particular story, students can plant their own bean plants using lima beans, a wet paper towel, and a plastic sandwich bag.  They can also plant other seeds and track the growth of each plant.  If they do not have seeds or beans to plant, they can just go out in their backyard and measure already existing plants and track their growth over the season.  

Each lesson comes with a colorful printable for students to make their observations just like a scientist!

After reading The Never Starting Tale of Little Red Riding Hood, students create a map of their own backyard.  If you do not have a backyard, you can create a map of your home or apartment.  They then have to create directions on getting from one spot to another.  This would be great for my students to review their map reading and making skills. 

Some of the other learning activities include retelling a story, writing an opinion piece, creating a backyard bucket list, and discussing how weather can affect a structure.  These activities are sure to promote outdoor learning and lead to great adventures with families!

This post was sponsored by the makers of OFF!® Repellents.

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