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Paper Playgrounds Show Off Simple Machines

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Fourth grade students at Deauville Gardens West Elementary School are fusing their literacy lessons with social-emotional learning and STEM-based activities. 

The classes began by reading “The Recess Queen,” a book that teaches positive behavior on the playground and acceptance. Since the book was about an experience on the playground, the teachers incorporated a hands-on STEM lesson to coincide with it. Students were tasked with designing their own playground out of paper and cardboard materials. The playground had to incorporate at least one simple machine, such as an inclined plane, wheel and axle or pulley. Working in small groups together, the students created their own see-saws, slides and swing sets using the paper materials.