Can you believe it’s already November? I’ve been brainstorming a list of fun November STEM activities, and I think I’ve created the best!
If your class is anything like my own, then they’re probably running on a lot more energy than you can manage to keep up with (or drink).
I’ve put together a list of super-fun November STEM activities for you!
These activities will require your students to use their energy in solving these problems. PLUS, they’re standards-based! Check out a list of benefits your students get from doing STEM activities here!
1. Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)
November 1st is Day of the Dead or Dia de Los Muertos! Sugar skulls are so cute, and students create their sugar skulls using symmetry.
This resource includes a printable for younger students to learn about a paper art called layering. They’ll learn about the tradition and celebration of the Spanish holiday and so much more with this STEM activity.
2. Veterans Day STEAM Activity
Veterans Day is November 11. Did you know Veterans Day is to celebrate all veterans? Although we certainly remember our fallen heroes, it’s not a day of memorial. This STEAM activity is a great way to teach students about the history of Veterans Day.
This lesson also teaches students about capillary action, time, and the scientific method. Your students will love creating poppies for veterans!
3. Create a Corn Maze
This activity is so much fun in all grades! Who doesn’t love a good corn maze? In this activity, students create a corn maze using paper, glue, and candy corn. For students with allergies, substitute the candy with mini-erasers.
The goal is to have as many turns as possible on one page. The kids got creative with these! Here’s one example (pictured above).
4. Design a Drum
During the first Thanksgiving celebration, participants played music. Check out the Music of the First Thanksgiving here. Then, have your students create their very own drum. These are super easy to create and a lot of fun! You can connect this with science by discussing the size and different pitches each drum makes.
5. Create a Rainstick
Continue teaching music and sound with this rainstick STEM activity. You can create a rainstick using either a poster board tube or a smaller cardboard tube. Place chicken wire inside or hammer in nails. Then, have students place a variety of beans, rice, and grains on the inside. They sound majestic!
6. Popcorn STEM Activity
I love learning about popcorn during Thanksgiving. We use the book Popcorn by Tomie dePaola to learn about how popcorn was invented. Students find it fascinating that Native American’s discovered popcorn many years ago. Some believed there was a demon living inside the kernel which made it pop.
Of course, we enjoy some popcorn while reading the story, and then students get a take-home project along with a bag of popcorn. These go home for Thanksgiving break and aren’t necessary, but I send them home in case they want to experiment and have some fun.
I have these take-home projects available in a flipbook or a single sheet of paper. Students engineer with popcorn, experiment, and more! You can get this activity for free when you subscribe to my weekly blogs.
7. Wampanoag Canoes
Yes, the Mayflower is fun, but we continue with our Native American research with Wampanoag Canoes. These were the main modes of transportation along the river for Wampanoag Native Americans.
Learn about how Wampanoag Native Americans carve out, scrape, and burn the canoes here. Then, have students create a canoe to hold the most pieces of candy corn. You can connect this activity to science by talking about buoyancy, rivers, or weight.
8. Classroom Elf Fashion Design
That sneaky little guy is coming back at the end of the month. Whether you love him or despise him, your students are sure to adore him! I created a FULL MONTH of activities for this guy + writing, so you won’t have to spend any extra energy thinking about what to do with it. Just follow the calendar and use the printables.
In this first activity, students design clothes for their elf. It’s interesting to see that many students will create ugly sweaters for it. You can use paper for the design or turn up the critical thinking by allowing them to use felt. It’s so much fun!
9. Elf Express STEM Activity
Santa’s reindeer have quit, and the elf needs to get the presents to the kids! In this STEM activity, students create a zip-line for the elf. It’s like a little jet pack. This one is hard and a lot of fun!
10. Cozy Elf Chair
The elf has been doing a lot of traveling. It needs to find some rest in a cozy chair. Using only pipe cleaner and straws, students must create a chair for the elf.
Students are challenged with this engineering activity as it is challenging to balance the chair, determine the correct height, and get the pipe cleaner to stay put. It’ll get kids thinking critically!
11. Elf Snow Shelter
Snow is in the forecast, and the elf needs shelter! November and December are perfect months to learn about animal habitats and how they shelter themselves. Then, students create a shelter for the elf. They can even decorate the inside!