Connecting Literature with Mathematics & Science. 


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Engineering profession
Engineering design
Skillful thinking
Process flow
Education links
Science page
Math standard(pdf)

PBS review of NCLB


Massachusetts Frameworks


Flowchart: Process: Select a story & "Engineering  Challenge"   
Flowchart: Process: Decide on the   science strands you want to cover for this grade & project 
Flowchart: Process: Form teams
Flowchart: Process: Create design
Flowchart: Process: Communicate & Renewal
















Teachers need multiple ways to engage students in their literature studies.  This process provides a path to use science as an extension of opportunities for literature and to engage students across learning disciplines in a more effective way.  The process begins with literature, such as fairy tales, starting in the lower grades, and leading to more sophisticated stories at older ages – stories that engage students. Using the engineering design process & skillful thinking questions, PreK-5  teachers can create motivating questions that will give students the opportunity to probe, poke and peek into the mysteries of science & mathematics while doing an engineering project.  

Expected outcomes:
Have an understanding of the roles engineers provide in society and their contribution.  Be able to use the design process for connecting literature with mathematics and science. Use skillful thinking and questions within their learning process.  Create life long learners in their students.
PreK-5 students: When entering the 6th grade, they see learning as an exciting adventure and the relevance of mathematics, science and engineering in their lives. Learn to work in a team and be able to contribute content knowledge required of that activity. Be comfortable in using questions in their lives.

It all centers around the definitions:
  • Engineering is about designing useful products & processes to make life better using science & mathematics.

  • Science is about explaining patterns in the universe.

  • Mathematics is the language to manage a design & account for the patterns in nature.


  • Meets all the learning principles of the Massachusetts Science Framework

  • Promotes higher-order thinking skills.

  • Invites the incorporation of instructional technology into the curriculum.

  • Engineering is differentiated: offers an "in" for learners of all types.

  • Rich cross-curricular possibilities.

  • Integration with math is an important way to show students how and why math is relevant and useful in the world.

  • Directly connected with improvement of living conditions/safety/health and welfare of people.

  • Engages both students and teachers in an exciting learning process.


Overview of the program being proposed
 See examples of stories and their engineering design challenges

Why use literature ?

  • Literature is an integral part of all existing school curriculum.

  • Stories have the potential to present situations that can challenge children’s imagination.

  • Stories can serve to encourage students to begin to generate design proposals and connect to STEM ( science, technology, engineering, mathematics )

  •  Literature is an area of the curriculum that all teachers are familiar with and, thus, the design process can start from a position of strength within the classroom.

  • Building on children’s strength.

Engineering & skillful thinking focus:
We are teaching the students  about the engineering profession and the process of engineering design. We are not teaching engineering but the thinking process that underlines engineering  With this background, they can apply it to many inquiry based activities in designing new products or processes.  As part of the engineering method, they are taught about skilful thinking, collaboration, "to fail often to succeed" and rubrics to measure their success and learning. (see example).  Once a theme is developed for an activity, both the appropriate mathematics and science framework items can we woven into the story.

What others are saying:
Engineering in the K-12 classroom  

Bringing Engineering to Elementary School

About using Lego's material & Rob lab Software.
Early Education: by Henry Petroski, PH.D
Teaching beyond the Test  How the concept improved a school
Using Engineering in K-8 Diane Mason Teacher
Benefits of Integrating Engineering Mary Taft, Teacher
Look at all the core elements this approach covers. (PDF) Meets five key elements of good science learning
  Prepared by  Bill Wolfson, Diana Mason, Missy Taft, Bridget Galvin, Mark Somerville   Copyright © 2006-2007
thanks for their material:

Last Updated  08/16/07