Integrate Literacy and STEM Challenges with The Wild Robot - momgineer

Integrate Literacy and STEM Challenges with The Wild Robot

Imagine you are stranded on an island with no knowledge of how you got there, surrounded by strange animals, weather, and terrain. The unusual part of this book isn't necessarily the story, but the main character, Roz. Why? Roz is a robot! The Wild Robot by Peter Brown hooks readers from the very first page. Your kids will be begging you, "just one more chapter, please?" and you may end up reading it to them, as the chapters are short enough to get that fix. When I read this book to my kids, it came alive for all of us and made me realize how well it would work to develop some hands-on STEM activities. I hope that you are as excited to try them out as we were!

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Integrate STEM and literacy with these hands-on challenges for The Wild Robot! Your kids will feel like they are in the story as they follow Roz on her adventures. | Meredith Anderson - Momgineer

If you haven't read this book yet, you will definitely want to borrow or get a copy ASAP. It is a survival-themed book with endearing characters, tons of action, and contains a wonderful marriage of nature and technology. I cannot imagine a better book to get kids excited about STEM!

As you read this book (or after you have finished), add in these hands-on STEM activities so your kids can really feel like they are in on the adventure, too.

Start with a Robot STEM Challenge

Can you build your very own Roz?
Roz is born on the shore of an island, thanks to some playful otters. Use simple materials such as paper or card stock, or go big with cardboard boxes and aluminum foil! Once your kids have built their own robot, they will feel an even greater involvement in her life and the obstacles she must overcome.

It isn't long before Roz is feeling left out. As you read the story, you will find out why the next two challenges make sense, but I'm not going to give away too many spoilers! Take my word for it that you'll want to try both of these STEM challenges as well:

Camouflage for Roz

It ends up being very important that Roz stumbles upon this idea. Can you help her blend into her surroundings? If you are reading this at home, ask your kids to decorate their robot to blend into your surroundings, maybe even using objects you find in nature.

Design and create a prosthetic limb for Roz:

Well, this one might not be too exciting at first. You will have to maim the robot you made in the first STEM challenge! I recommend cutting off the robot's foot, but your kids can choose to cut an arm instead, or perhaps another limb, depending on how they constructed their robot. There are several more challenges you can do throughout the story. It will become apparent as you read along - almost every time Roz has a problem to solve, you can work through a STEM challenge!

Novel STEM for The Wild Robot

For more supporting materials, I have created a full resource that guides you through the engineering design process to complete these challenges and more. In addition to the challenges listed above, there are engineering and science vocabulary cards, recording pages to work through the process, data testing sheets, discussion questions, and extension activities:

Do you have a favorite read aloud that you'd like to see paired with STEM challenges? Suggest one to me at - if I choose your idea I will send you the resource when it's finished as a thank you.

You will definitely want to pair these STEM challenges with a Novel Study! Amy Mezni has created a wonderful Novel Study for the Wild Robot. This unit includes vocabulary and reading comprehension questions, as well as activities for character development, plot, setting, theme, and author's purpose. It's the perfect way to dive even further into this great book! Click the photo below to read Amy's blog post, which details what she thought about the book and some great ideas for using it in your upper elementary classroom:

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!


  1. Oh my, had never heard of this book, stumbled across it, my son LOVED it, we will do the STEM activities this week. Thanks! Would love to see more like this one! Hard to keep finding books to keep his reading appetite satiated.

    1. My kids adored it, too! I definitely haven't found many books like this one; I am on the lookout for sure (and there will be a sequel to this book in fall!). I have heard good things about Pax but haven't read it yet. I'm SO glad your son enjoyed it and I hope he likes the STEM challenges too.