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Exploring STEM Through Stuffed Animals

Innovation in Teaching Competition: Debi Goodman from Shallowford Falls Elementary School

Grade Level


Content Area/Instructional Strategy


This ten-day kindergarten STEM unit incorporates English Language Arts (ELA), mathematics, and science standards and requires students to work collaboratively and use critical thinking skills. Students bring their own stuffed animals to school, sort their animals in
different ways (movement, covering, and habitat), compare and contrast their stuffed animals to others in the class, and learn about baby animals. Students also complete the Can You Guess My Animal? Project – requiring them to incorporate facts about their animal into a riddle. Towards the end of the unit, students work collaboratively to engineer different shaped pens for their animals using a variety of materials, including Popsicle sticks, paper clips, play dough, pipe cleaners and yarn.

Standards Addressed

English Language Arts:
M.K.G.5, M.K.CC.4b, M.K.CC.7, M.K.MD.3
SKL.1 ,SKL.2

About the Teacher

Debi Goodman
Shallowford Falls Elementary
Cobb County Schools

Debi Goodman is currently a Kindergarten teacher at Shallowford Falls Elementary School in Marietta, GA. She holds a B.S. in Education from James Madison University and has over 16 years of teaching experience in both Kindergarten and 2nd grade. Ms. Goodman was also
the 2008/2009 Shallowford Falls Elementary Teacher of the Year. Her best piece of teaching advice is: Don’t be afraid to try new things change is good!