STEM Tale - Hansel and Gretel Trap the Witch - momgineer

STEM Tale - Hansel and Gretel Trap the Witch

Fairy Tale STEM Activity for Hansel & Gretel

Hansel and Gretel can outsmart the witch and escape (with a little help from your students)!

Materials Needed for this STEM Fairy Tale Activity

  • printable characters or figurines of different sizes
  • various recyclable materials (cereal boxes, cups, etc.)
  • other crafting supplies (craft sticks, pipe cleaners, straws, etc.)

Before Getting Started with the STEM Tale

STEM tales work best if you read the original fairy tale first (or do your own storytelling!). This also leads to great discussions during the engineering process, as kids love to compare the original story with the new version.

Print and assemble the characters. These have been designed so that the kids are smaller than the witch and will be able to escape the trap, while the witch will not.

Fairy Tale STEM with the Engineering Design Process 

I have designed STEM tales so that as students read the story, they will follow the engineering design process. First, they need to identify the problem (the kids need to escape from the witch). For this challenge, students will need to measure the dimensions of each character and then design their witch trap so that the kids can pass through but the witch can't. They build the trap around themselves and then escape, leaving the witch trapped.

Design a Trap for the Witch

After thinking of various witch traps, the kids will then choose one they can build. They will plan out the materials and design, and then construct their prototype based on the plan. The above trap is made with a cereal box with the spaces cut out from it (cuts had to be measured). The below trap is made with straws and pipe cleaners (straw spacing had to be determined and applied).

Test the STEM Tale Prototype

After the prototype is built, the kids then test it out. If something didn't work right, it's time to go back and improve the design. If the witch can escape, the design needs to be improved. If Hansel and Gretel are trapped in with the witch, the design also needs to be improved.

STEM tales are a great way to foster teamwork and problem-solving. This STEM tale usually inspires amazing creativity and excitement from the littlest engineers.

To find the full resource, which includes an 8-page booklet, printable characters, check list for self-evaluation, and tips, visit this link:

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Fairy Tale STEM - Hansel and Gretel Trap the Witch! Help the kids trap the witch so they can escape. Can you design a trap? Meredith Anderson Momgineer

To read more about how to conduct a STEM challenge, visit this post:

To see all posts in this series, click here:

STEM Tales Blog Series

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

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