Trina Deboree
Teaching and Learning

Teaching and Learning

Makerspace and Literature: How to Engage Kids This Summer

This summer seems like the perfect time to dive deeper into makerspace. Makerspace can be such a compelling activity for kids this summer or during the school year. Anything that engages kids encourages them to think, discover, create, and build is a win in my book.

Makerspace and literature for the summer #makerspace #makerspacemomentsinliterature #summermakerspace

Makerspace and Literature: How to Engage Kids This Summer

So this summer, I have challenged myself to create a Makerspace Moment in Literature for each week of the summer. Want to learn about Makerspace in the Classroom? Check out my blog post 5 Fundamental Ways to Launching a Sensational Makerspace or keep reading.

I have a line of products called MakerSpace Moments in Literature. Since I love both literature and Makerspace, this was a merging of two passions. I also wanted to bring in books and stories to the whole STEM and Maker aspect. Don’t get me wrong science, technology, engineering, and math are critical, but so is literature! Each MakerSpace Moment in Literature is based on an easy to find storybook that presents a problem in the text. The first thing we do is some compelling close reading activities- like a look at the vocabulary, or questions from the story, analyzing characters, and more. Then students are given supplies or tools and allowed to create anything that may solve the problem. They develop a design plan and then build. There is even a chance to share and collaborate by comparing and contrasting presentations or share-outs after the project is complete. The projects are so fun! I have had some excellent feedback on the MakerSpace Moments in Literature. (To see for yourself, sign up below for my MakerSpace Moment in Literature FREEBIE.)

So let's talk about the first book I chose for this summer makerspace challenge. Roller Coaster written and illustrated by Marla Frazee is an adorable example of a small moment.

The book also contains some compelling examples of onomatopoeia, which make for a great language or vocabulary close reading activity. Kids love onomatopoeia!

Roller Coaster is also an excellent example of how the illustrations help the reader better understand the text. I love watching the character's emotions change throughout the story. Travel the thrilling moment of the main character as she goes from being apprehensive to enthusiastic about riding the roller coaster. Close reading is such a powerful way to take a closer look at both illustrations and how the character overcame the obstacle of being scared to go on the roller coaster.

After you have read the book in its entirety, asking questions about the text is a natural step in helping children better comprehend the text. A few more days of close reading activities such as taking a closer look at vocabulary words and discussing and rereading sections that show and tell how the character's emotions changed throughout the story is another way to expand the comprehension experience in literature.

Finally, hands-on experience brings the story to life and engages children in critical thinking and problem-solving. Another idea would be to add some learning on force and motion or energy and the transfer of energy. Gravity would make a lot of sense when discussing how the train of the roller coaster comes down the tracks. So this book would lend itself nicely to STEM integration.

I hope your kids and students find this book as cute as I did. I would love to see the final roller coasters. Share them in the comments, shoot me a message on Facebook- Trina Deboree, or email me at

See you next week for book #2 in the Summer Makerspace Series!