April 29

Keeping the Literature in Maker Education

The Maker Movement can be a great way to approach literature study by using meaningful, high interest problem based and project based learning.   As Teacher-Librarians incorporate Maker Education activities into the Learning Commons, there are endless opportunities to use literature to facilitate this hands-on learning.

Reading can spark interest and provide context for projects in the same way that Maker activities can create enthusiasm for further literature explorations. It is not the case that designated time spent in the elementary Library Learning Commons must be either literature based or have a Maker focus. The two can be complimentary and interwoven.

Here are a few book titles and projects that might help to spark ideas:


Wondering if building a clear plastic green house might speed up bean germination? Does the shape or size of the structure affect the rate of growth? Using recycled materials such as clear plastic cartons or create a frame with popsicle sticks and kitchen wrap.

What could be designed to support the weight of the bird so that he would float gently to the ground?


Could there be a device that sounds an alarm as water levels rise? As a lever is lifted can it trigger an alert?


Blending Social-Emotional Learning – Design and build a mini prototype of affordable kid’s transport. Lego, recycled materials, Little bits, Cubelets or any building set might work.


Using paper rolls and marbles to design sloping tracks. Collaborate and problem solve the necessary gradient, curves, marble size etc. Which design facilitates speed? Can it be painted? – incorporate the Art in S.T.E.A.M.


Bridge building is a fun option offered great opportunities for collaboration and trial and error.


Does the shape of the boat and sail impact the speed? How long will a newspaper boat stay afloat? Does the design affect buoyancy?


Designing a mini Santa Trap. What else could the trap be used to catch?

Looking for books that are written to spark Makers into action? Click to check out a list of some of our Maker Movement titles:

Looking for books that incorporate Social Emotional Learning into Maker Education? Click here

Tags: ,
Copyright © 2017. Anna Crosland. All rights reserved.

Posted April 29, 2017 by acrosland in category Book Recommendations, Makers and Makerspaces

About the Author

Anna Crosland, Teacher-Librarian in B.C. Canada: Focus on Personal and Social Core Competencies, Layering Authentic Indigenous Resources into the Curriculum, MakerEd and Digital Creation, Inclusiveness, Empowerment, Diversity and lots of Reading