Jan 7, 2014

WonderWorks: Staplers!

With this amazing technology, kids can bend metal with their hands!

Today's Topic:  Staplers (Technology)
staplers (as wide a variety as you can gather)
staple removers


cover art Ralph tells a story / Hanlon, Abby
I love this book!  It not only incorporates staplers (perhaps the only picture book ever to do so?), but it also has an excellent literacy element about how to tell a story!  It's a teensy bit long for a read-aloud to this age group, so just skip most of the speech-bubble asides and you should be fine.

 What Kids Do:  staple, staple, staple

 (check out this funky staple-free stapler I found to bring in!)
 Sometimes they need a little extra force.
 At the end of my first class, one of the kids asked me some really fantastic questions like, "How do all the staples stick together like that in the box?" and "Then how does only one come out at a time?" His mom and I had to examine the staples and stapler to be able to answer his question and that examination led to us also teaching him about how to switch the baseplate around so that the staple prongs get smashed facing away from each other instead of towards each other.  I'd almost forgotten that little weird-o stapler feature!
 In the second class, I also introduced staple removers.  Fun!  (although the teeth are pretty sharp--use only with an adult nearby.)
 This participant loved punching holes in her paper using the staple remover.
 We also had an electric stapler and an itty-bitty mini stapler (not pictured) available for kids to play with.  I would have loved a few more different kinds, but with short notice (and freezing temps that shut everything down) I was thrilled to at least have enough staplers for each kid to have one of their "own" to use.
 The second class also decided (after their stapler experimentations) that they'd like to play with blocks, so the class ended with a huge building session with some really incredible structures.  Hooray, Engineering!


Hindsight Tip:  A quick bit of stapler instruction is probably a good idea (rather than just letting kids explore this tool on their own) if you want kids to have success stapling before the end of the class.  If you really want them to make little books, try cutting papers into the right size before class.  Since this class is all about stapling (and not cutting), make it easy on them to get right to the stapling!

Related Apps: Although it's got nothing to do with staplers, if you want a good story-starting app, try Infiniscroll by Curious Hat.  It's a unique way to find new stories!

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