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Stem lesson plans rules - Blog post by Photon Education

11 Must-Have Rules For 1st grade STEM lesson plans

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in 1st grade STEM lesson plans

How to improve competitiveness in the early childhood education of science and technology?

Use STEM in your 1st grade STEM lesson plans! It will impact the development of knowledge and digital competencies.


Have you never heard about STEM?

Then this article is for you! The term has recently become immensely popular. But what does it mean?

STEM is commonly used to refer to an education policy and the choice of education methodology in schools which make learning science, technology, engineering, and maths much smoother. Notable examples are Great Britain or the United States of America. In these countries, education systems and schools play a key role in determining children’s and young people’s interest in STEM subjects and in ensuring equal opportunities to access and benefit from high-quality STEM education.


How do we understand learning in STEM?

Well, usually in this category we cover a wide range: from natural sciences like biology, physics, and chemistry to more formal sciences like mathematics as well as logic and statistics. Social science – the third major branch of science – refers to psychology, sociology, and political science. They are categorized separately from the other two branches of science and are instead grouped with the humanities and arts, forming another acronym called HASS – humanities, arts, and social sciences. However, psychology is considered the main part of STEM, in addition to the other two subjects. In the US (and UK) education system, in primary, middle, and high schools, the term science refers to the natural sciences, where mathematics is a separate subject and social sciences are combined with the humanities as part of general social concept studies.


We combine them with research and scientific knowledge, i.e., with the experiments and their analysis performed by scientists. Some teachers and authors of programs (and textbooks) equate the concept of science with science subjects: biology, chemistry, physics, part of geography, technology, and even informatics.


According to The Department of Labor 14 sectors are “projected to add substantial numbers of new jobs to the economy or affect the growth of other industries or are being transformed by technology and innovation requiring new sets of skills for workers”. This applies to business sectors such as advanced manufacturing, automotive industry, construction, financial services, health technology, homeland security, information technology, transportation and aerospace, biotechnology, energy, healthcare, hospitality, and retail.


STEM fields careers are some of the best-paying and have the greatest potential for job growth in the early 21st century as is noted by The Department of Commerce. The report also notes that STEM workers play a key role in the sustained growth and stability of the U.S. economy, and training in STEM fields. This results in higher wages, whether they work in a STEM field.


STEM enthusiasts believe that there are several difficulties to overcome. Among the obstacles that need to be surmounted, they mention the failure to adapt the requirements of progressive education in several countries. Errors of the core education program are forcing all students to learn at one level. The authors warn, recalling that because of poor early mathematics education, half of the students with lower family and social capital have serious difficulties in gaining math resourcefulness.


Art in 1st grade STEM lesson plans

 Learn it by art - steam lesson plans - blog post Photon Education

By expanding STEM with the “arts” component, the STEAM concept was created, which emphasizes the importance of art in innovative education.


The idea of STEAM is developed in many educational institutions around the world, but it is especially intensively happening in the United States. One example of such projects is STEM to STEAM at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).


Programs relating to the STEAM idea is the foremost common within the United States but also are developed in other countries. From 2012 to 2015, the Knowledge Incubation Innovation and Creation for Science (KiiCS) project financed by the European Commission was implemented. This wide-ranging endeavour was a joint effort by the 21 project network entities and many other organizations and institutions working with them as part of the three-year initiative. The overriding goal of KiiCS was to show how important the role of creativity and innovation centers are today, such as those representing Poland in the Copernicus Science Center network. Creative meetings of art, science and the business were promoted through several activities dedicated to both young people who are just building their basic scientific experience, and professionals open to interdisciplinary cooperation.


We can show off a special bond linking art and technology in the examples of Leonardo da Vinci cited a thousand times, or Johannes Gutenberg, or, on the opposite hand, Jules Verne as those whose life testifies that the inventor’s genius and the artist’s vision is also closely related are not convincing enough, the present and the future will inevitably provide more arguments. The creative cooperation of lab technicians, bioengineers, sculptors, creators of multimedia installations and specialists in advanced geometry must be carried out with appropriate public support and help overcome key difficulties for today’s societies. To find out more about the influence of art and art classes on early childhood education, see these two articles: huffpost.com and arteducationmasters.arts.ufl.edu.


How to create 1st grade STEM lesson plans? Step by step guide

Do you want to implement STEM in your teacher’s work? We have prepared for you a collection of ideas and interesting links that will instruct you on how to do it and present an interesting set of inspirations.  Are you familiar with Pinterest? It can be a source of endless ideas – the materials are available there for free, and you can also share them with your friends.  Try the following keywords: “STEM”, “STEM”, “1st grade”, “1st grade STEM lesson plans” and so on. You will see the results in a second!


Starting with 1st grade STEM lesson plans


1: Create your lesson plans with passion

Even the best lesson plans cannot replace true passion. Therefore, you are the teacher – you want to change the world for the better and pass knowledge to your students. Follow your heart, combine the examples below, and create your own lesson sets. 

Using the STEM methodology is also a continuous development for you. It is worth browsing the nooks and crannies of the internet to get to know innovative ideas, as well as take part in courses, webinars, and conferences devoted to STEM. Implementing STEM in the education process can be simple – we will help you.


2: Tell your students about STEM

Tell your students about the importance of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and art in the sustainable education process. As they become aware that they are learning useful competencies, they will also gain a sense of purpose. It is an effective method that will appeal to their ambitions. It is also worth introducing them to the concept of activities and the prepared lesson plan: learning through play and play through learning. The use of STEM is the educational method of the future. students play the role of our partners in it. The teacher is a mentor who advises students when they acquire all the necessary skills. In a need for some STEM tips? Take a look here: blog.definedlearning.com and learn how to spark some STEM love in your students.


3: Prepare your workplace – 1st grade classroom

STEM book activities where the Wild things are - blog post Photon Education

A properly prepared classroom is necessary! We mentioned that in the STEM methodology, anything can be used as a teaching tool. A studio full of distinct items will inspire and give the youngest ideas that they can use during the classes. There are no restrictions here. You can touch on the topic of ecology, resource management, and zero-waste lifestyle. Check out the ILove1stGrade.com blog for a collection of inspiration that can help you prepare activities for your first graders. Cecelia, who runs the website, can turn everyday objects into teaching materials. Cans, boxes, egg cartons, ribbons, or Lego blocks … it is these items that can become scientific aids. All it takes is a little imagination!


Teach by using practice. Show your students the wonders of the world


4: Use science in your 1st grade STEM lesson plans!

The world around us can be described by the laws of nature, the laws of physics, and chemical reactions. It is important that children get to know them from an early age, be able to describe – and most importantly – understand them. Experts agree that scientific knowledge should be developed at the beginning of early childhood education. In this way, we will develop not only knowledge about the world, but also several abstract abilities such as linking facts, abstract thinking, inference, and deduction. 

Find ideas for valuable exercises here. The proposed tasks are fields of human senses, space, states of matter, light, and sound.  Do you need a few more ideas for science-oriented lesson plans? Go to this page, there are a lot of practical activities here.


5: A change of seasons: weather your lesson plans

What is weather? It will be easy to explain this topic to your 1st graders when you will use this lesson plan: pbslearningmedia.org.  Knowing the seasons and weather phenomena is the basis of early development and learning about the laws of nature. Depending on the season and weather, we can offer our pupils a different set of activities. Are you in a need of more practical lesson scenarios about the weather? Check this complete ELS lesson plan: games4els.com.

Here you will find suggestions:

Some of the proposed tasks may relate to holidays and events related to a given season. 

Cloud in a jar? This is our offer for STEM activity in the weather category.


6: Wildlife – how to teach about biodiversity?

Do you want to provide additional information about living organisms on Earth? STEM will also come to the rescue here. A whole e-library with useful resources can be found here: stem.org.uk. 

Classes on plants, animals, and insects can be varied. It could be also a great step into the word of diversity. A great blog about this topic can be found on the ems.psu.edu website. 

Sample tasks? This includes tracing the life cycle of a ladybug and tree, as well as developing artistic skills by drawing flowers symmetrically.


7: Teaching math in your 1st grade lesson plans

Explaining and learning the principles of the queen of science is the basis of any sustainability. It is impossible to function in society without knowing the rules of mathematics. Which of the topics can be discussed as STEM? All of them! From simple math activities to geometry! An effortless way to explain to students the concept and rules of fractions? Yes, it can be done. Here you will find the materials you need.

The most important thing is that most of the tasks already mentioned can be combined, including the use and consolidation of mathematical knowledge using the amazing method of learning through play.


EdTech for rescue! How to implement modern technology in your lesson plans?


8: Engineer your 1st grade STEM lesson plan

Need some practical ideas for engineering activities and tasks in your 1st grade STEM lesson plans? Check out the Using Technology Better blog for some interesting ideas. And in case you need even more teaching materials, this link is for you – 100 different STEM projects that will improve the young engineer’s sense in your students. From making a muppet puppet to a sponge motorboat, they have got it all.Finally, you can check once again Pinterest. It is a well of ideas without a bottom


9: Art of a perfect 1st grade lesson plan  

We have already mentioned the importance of art in education several times. Now we will repeat – this is an appropriate time to consolidate the acquired knowledge. By teaching children to be sensitive, we make them look at reality in a more comprehensive and complex way. Here you can find some educational but fun lesson plans about art: b-inspiredmama.com. 

Skilling art in the early childhood education class schedule will make our teaching comprehensive, ranging from science to humanities. Let us make sure that our students sustainably acquire their knowledge and that they can discover every field of science. The STEM methodology is like a course of familiarizing a young person with the beauty of the world around us. In this way, we can be sure that we educate future scientists, doctors, lawyers, and writers. This is our duty as teachers.


10: Cracking the 1st grade STEM lesson plans code

Read codes, act on command, read instructions, and perform actions? All this is possible with the use of materials that can be found at this link

But the word “code” may also have a more modern meaning. Learning programming at the stage of early childhood education? Yes, it is possible. And extremely easy to achieve as part of your STEM lesson plans. If you want access to use a comprehensive tool that will implement STEM and help your students to learn to code like a pro you should…


11: Use Photon in your 1st grade STEM lesson plans!

Discover the magic of modern education with Photon Robot! 

Photon is the most technologically advanced educational robot available on the market. It has a wide range of interactive sensors, which makes it a great teaching tool, and perfectly diversifies the classes, and brings the STEM methodology into your 1st grade lesson plan.


The robot allows you to carry out both general early school development activities and specialized technical subjects or IT. For each stage of education, separate applications, and methodological support were prepared by the requirements specified by experts. With the Photon Robot, the previous classes are reaching a higher level.

 STEM Tools 1st grade - Photon Education


Children learn naturally by combining theory with practice. Check the Photon YouTube channel for a sample lesson. Any other advantages?  The robot is extremely durable and ready to use right out of the box, thus a smart choice for early education classes. Would you like to meet Photon Robot? Check him out here!