If you’ve followed along my journey for a while, you know I am absolutely passionate about STEAM education! I have presented locally and nationally on topics relating to hands-on science, project-based learning and STEAM education and some of the most common questions I get are,
- “How do you fit STEAM in? I just don’t have time in my day.”
- “Where do you find resources?”
- “I teach very young students (Kindergarten), can STEAM work for them?”
Thinking back to all of the planning myself and teams I’ve taught with have done surrounding STEAM education, I could probably write a book – and hey, maybe one day I will! One thing though is certain, I am so thankful that I found hoopla digital! So buckle up, I’m about to show you exactly how awesome Hoopla is for lesson planning – plus I’m going to give you a FREE lesson idea with plan so you can get started TODAY!
What is Hoopla Digital?
hoopla digital is a service that has partnered with libraries ACROSS North America to bring online/mobile (think digital here) access to literally thousands of Movies, TV Shows, Music, eBooks, Audiobooks and Comics. It’s truly at your fingertips and ready to download in a snap! Right here in Dallas the Dallas Public Library system has already partnered with hoopla digital bringing a wealth of resources to you – and all you need is a valid library card!
I love a trip to the library as much as the next teacher, but it can be so frustrating when the book you need for a specific lesson is either checked out or not carried at that location. With hoopla digital you always have access to their huge library and never have to worry about a book being checked out!
But, how does that relate to STEAM education?
Oh, I’m so glad you asked! Y’all… it has EVERYTHING to do with STEAM education because hoopla digital has become the leading resource for STEAM content across all age ranges!
If you’re just getting started with STEAM, hoopla has such a diverse variety of STEAM resources – whether you want a book targeted directly for STEAM education, a book about inventors, or a book that can be used to create a STEAM challenge, it’s on hoopla!
5 Ways hoopla Makes Lesson Plans a Cinch
- No trips to the library! All of their content is available to you digitally! The days of worrying about someone having checked out a particular book are done. Plus, as teachers we know that as students are exploring something new they inevitably have questions we don’t have the answers for. hoopla makes finding resources for the questions a snap!
- Did I mention how diverse the hoopla library is?! This simple fact means that it is easier than ever to pull STEAM into any content block throughout the day – science, literacy, math… you name it!
- Hoopla isn’t just ebooks! If you need audio books for listen to reading, videos, music, or even a clip of something from TV – chances are you can find it on hoopla!
- Not super comfortable with STEAM? hoopla has books that lay out pre-made STEAM activities for you! Take their outline and transfer them into your lesson plans! This is the perfect way to get your feet wet with STEAM education.
- There are TONS of resources that teach to growth mindset which is important not only for STEAM, but for creating resilient students! Here are some of my favorites available right in the hoopla database:
- “Ada Twist, Scientist” by Andrea Beaty
- “Rosie Revere, Engineer” by Andrea Beaty
- “Iggy Peck, Architect” by Andrea Beaty
OK, I promised you a ready-to-go and FREE lesson plan! One of my favorite traditional content blocks to bring a little STEAM action into is a math block. Something about math centers just really lends itself to incorporating STEAM without changing the entire scope of a content block or your day.
With winter coming up, many of us will engage in some form of study of weather, seasons, or snow. Why not tie that study into a snowflake STEAM challenge?
This lesson plan guide will take you and your students step-by-step through the five step engineering process as students investigate and explore snowflakes then create their own artwork showcasing symmetry. For this lesson, I recommend using “There’s Math in My Art” by Nikole Bethea which is readily available for you on hoopla digital!
Materials are simple (and reusable) – toothpicks, pom poms, glass beads, pipe cleaners, etc. – you can see the full list right on the lesson plan guide under materials.
Students will (1) Ask, (2) Imagine, (3) Plan, (4) Create, and (5) Improve a snowflake design that features a symmetrical design.
Want answers to more of your STEAM-related questions? Join me as I take over the hoopla Instagram on November 7th! I’ll be answering all of your questions live, and I’d love to see you there! Click here to follow Hoopla on Instagram so you don’t miss out!