The 13 Story Tree House

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” -Dr. Seuss


Using the new tree blocks to make a 13 story treehouse and pathway leading up to it

Our engineering challenge this week was for students to build a treehouse that was 13 stories high and sturdy enough that the “big bad wolf” couldn’t blow it down.

This wasn’t something that came easy to them. They had to use their problem solving skills to figure out how to build a 13 story treehouse that could stand alone.

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Cameran’s treehouse kept falling down, so he was really excited when he finally got it to stand up!

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Kids started to collaborate and help each other. They gave each other feedback and we heard them telling each other that, “Your foundation isn’t strong enough” or “You need to make this part sturdier.” Many kids had to start over, while others had an easier time. The students who finished their 13 stories then went around and helped their friends.

Many of the students got frustrated when their treehouse kept falling down, so we talked about the importance of perseverance and not giving up even when things are hard. That is one of our school’s core values that we have been working on. We wanted to give them this experience so that as they are learning to read, they have started to develop the perseverance and grit they need to succeed. Click here to read more about grit, why it is important, and how it helps kids

We read Jack and Jill Build a Treehouse, we looked at the book Treehouses of the World, and finished reading the 13 story treehouse. This is a chapter book. Students listen to a read-aloud for 30 minutes each day after lunch. Research states that reading books aloud that are above students’ grade level out loud for half an hour each day helps to increase their vocabulary, comprehension, and reading stamina so our students will become lifelong readers. (Click here to read about the research)

This week, students are going to start building their model treehouse out of popsicle sticks and other materials. They will be doing the landscaping for their treehouses as well.

What our students had to say about their learning this week:
“We have our own ideas to build the treehouses that we want to make…”

“Ziplines are cool. They help you get from one place to another without walking.”

“We finished reading the book 13 Story Treehouse. It’s one of the best and funniest books.“

“Our engineering challenge this week was to build a treehouse that was 13 stories high. We had to count and keep checking to make sure we had 13 stories. “

“We finished the chapter book 13 story tree house and are now reading 26 Story Treehouse. “

“We are wondering if we can build a 26 story tree house that would be strong enough for a wolf not to blow down. “

“We had to count 13 stories and use platforms in between the stories. We used materials like different types and sizes of wood, blocks, cardboard squares, plastic bubble squares, cubes, half spheres, cardboard circles and a lot of other stuff. “

“We figured out addition math stories. Not tree house stories. “

“We read the book Jack and Jill Build a Treehouse. We could read a lot of the words in the book. The book has pictures with words. You can read the pictures if you can’t read the words.”

“Our voices are powerful (when we say something we believe in).”

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