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Design process Connect Stories Literature Selections Prek-5 grade differences
Thinking Skills Standards Project Learning Program overview




The following literature selections are organized into three categories: fairy and ethnic tales, picture books, and fiction chapter books. Each selection includes appropriate grade level range, story summary, and possible design challenges. Some selections also include extensions.

 "Engineering design challenges" are created by actionable items in the story and lead to inquiry based team projects that have a design theme. As an example, in the story "Island of the Blue Dolphins", the village leaves canoes on the side of a hill for escaping a potential attack. The heroine in the story has a difficult time getting one of them down the hill and into the water. A "design challenge" for the students could be to design a system to make it easier for her to lower the canoe.

The students can pick the character they are working for in the story  to create a design challenge.  As an example they might want to work for the wolf in the 3-pigs to find a way to catch the pigs.


Reference Documents

Example of a lesson plan outline (PDF)

Story flow map (PDF)

Design/Problem solving process ( PDF)

Fairy and ethic tales:


"Goldie Locks"

"One Grain of Rice" by Demi  (Math fairy tale) Hansel and Gretel
Picture Book:

"The Carrot Seed" by Ruth Krauss

"Owl Moon"  by Jane Yolen
"Make Way for Ducklings" by Robert McCloskey "Snowflake Bentley" by Jacquelin Martin
Who Sank the Boat?” by Pamela Allen "The mitten" by Jan Brett
"The North Star" by Peter H. Reynolds "Rose's Garden" by Peter H. Reynolds
"Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak  "A visitor for bear" by Bonny Becker
"One Watermelon Seed" by Celia Barker Lottridge  ( Math focus) "Island of the Skog" by Steven Kellogg
"Ibis: A True Whale Story" by John Himmelman  
Fiction, chapter book:

"Esperanza Rising"  … by Pam Munoz Ryan

"Island of Blue dolphins" by  Scott O’Neil

"From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Frankweiler" by E.L. Konigsburg

"Dear Mr. Henshaw"  by Beverly Cleary

"Number the Starsby Lois Lowry 

Charlottes Web   by E.B. White

"The Mouse and the Motorcycle" by Beverly Clearly

"Pictures of Hollis Woods" by Patricia Giff

"Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" by Judy Bloom

"Brave Irene" by William Steig

"Cricket in Times Square" by George Sheldon

"On the Far Side of the Mountain" by Jean Craighead George

"By the Shores of Silver Lake" Laura Ingalls Wilder

"Blizzard" by Jim Murphy; part of a fifth grade Houghton Mifflin Series , historical fiction

"Snow Treasure" by Marie McSwigan

"Bridge to Terabithia" by Katherine Patterson

"Owls in the Family" by Farley Mowat

"Sir Cumference and the First Round Table" by Cindy Neuschwander

Historical Fiction
The Watsons Go to Birmingham    by Christopher Curtis  
  Prepared by  Bill Wolfson.  Copyright © 2011-2012
Last Updated  05/10/2012