STEM Activity: The Three Little Pigs

Hi everyone!

Last week we were practicing comparing & contrasting using different versions of The Three Little Pigs. You can read about the books & activities that we used {here}.
To wrap up the week, we had a STEM challenge related to the three little pigs!

There are so many STEM ideas for The Three Little Pigs online so I adapted a few to make them work for my students.
I have uploaded a quick freebie that includes a pig & wolf template that you can use!

I provided my students with toothpicks and dots candy.
I required them to use at least 10 of each but I had more on hand if they needed more...and most of them did!
My students worked in groups of 2 or 3 (they got to choose who to work with). I wanted them to communicate and collaborate but didn't want the groups to be so big that it created conflict.
They *loved* this activity! They were so excited and jumped right into it trying to figure out how to make a house around the pig. The only modeling that I did was to show them how they could stick the toothpick in the dot to make it stick, but other than that they were on their own.

It was so interesting to hear their logic and thought processes and I will admit...I was impressed!
This is definitely something that I will do again in the future.

Here are some pictures of the students in action...I covered them for privacy, but I wanted to make sure you could still see those smiles! :)

Let me know in the comments if you have any similar activities that I could try with my students!


  1. This is a really fantastic idea! I haven't thought about creating a learning opportunity like this :) Well done!
    You could do a similar activity with the book 'Snail and the whale' by Julia Donaldson :)

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    1. Caitlyn, I just LOVE this idea! ...and I love that you are teaching STEM concepts to your first graders! They really did come up with some great ideas! Did the majority of the houses withstand the Big Bad Wolf's attempts to knock them down?? Did the students recognize what worked and what did not? Did you see any patterns? How many unique ideas did they come up with? I am so curious about their thought processes in this project! Thanks for sharing it!

    2. There were 9 groups of students participating in this project. I would say about 3 of them were successful with the first house that they built. Even once they were successful, I had them deconstruct the house (after taking a picture) and redesign their structure to try something new. The students that were successful right away already had the idea to have heavy pieces on the bottom or to have a large base and small top. The rest of the groups were unsuccessful on their first attempt and had to redesign their house. Some things that I noticed about the unsuccessful houses were that they were top or side heavy. It was VERY interesting to see them work through! By the end of the activity, every group had at least one successful house that the wolf could not blow down.