Carrie Robledo
English Language Arts, STEM
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan
Preschool, Lower Primary
K-5 Design Thinking, K-5 Engineering, STEM, k-5-design-thinking, k-5-engineering, k5engineers, stem
Creative Commons Attribution

Education Standards

K: Humpty Dumpty

K: Humpty Dumpty


Poor Humpty Dumpty keeps falling off the wall.  Can you create a  safer wall for Humpty Dumpty.  Students use Keva planks or other building blocks to create a new safer wall that the Humpty Dumpty (plastic easter egg) does not fall.

Instructor Directions

Kindergarten: Humpty Dumpty

Inspired by Carly and Adam


Driving Question / ScenarioI can engineer a safer wall for Humpty Dumpty
Project SummaryPoor Humpty Dumpty keeps falling off the wall.  Can you create a  safer wall for Humpty Dumpty.  Students use Keva planks or other building blocks to create a new safer wall that the Humpty Dumpty (plastic easter egg) does not fall.
Estimated Time45 min
Materials / ResourcesKeva planks, plastic Easter eggs, other blocks
StandardsCCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.2With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.3With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.NC.K.G.5 Model shapes in the world by: • Building and drawing triangles, rectangles, squares, hexagons, circles.• Building cubes, cones, spheres, and cylinders.
Project Outline
Ask"Can you build a tall, safe wall for Humpty Dumpty?"  Invite students to ask questions about the task and in the process, introduce students to the materials they will be using (Keva planks or any other building materials).   Have students describe the materials by their physical shapes and the shapes they see a wall being.  Talk about height, dimensions, and how it doesn’t have to be as tall as a real wall.
ImagineGroup students  2-3 each.  In groups, have students brainstorm different ways they could use their materials to design a safer wall for Humpty Dumpty.  
PlanModel the planning process with the whole group using the planning sheet. Ask students in groups to develop a plan for their design and then record it onto the planning  sheet.  This can be recorded as a group or individually.
CreateTest your plan,Goal is that the egg safely sits on the top of the wall without falling off. Solve the problem in 5 minutes or less.
ImproveIn their small groups, students use the ideas from the whole group to plan/design their first improvement on their planning sheet.  When the improvement has been planned, students then create it using their materials.  Students mark on their planning sheet if their second design was better or worse than the first.
Closure / Student ReflectionsClose the lesson up in whole group.  Review the engineering process and how they used it to improve their designs.Review the shapes used and how these helped or hurt their barns chances of holding weight and keeping debris and water out from a storm.Ask students questions such as:
  • Was your design perfect the first time we tested it?
  • How was your wall improved once you began building?
  • Was it helpful to have a plan?  Why?
  • If you could build a wall with different materials, what would you use to make it stronger?
  • Is there anything else you can imagine doing to make this wall  even better?
Possible Modifications / Extensions
  • Consider utilizing different materials based on increasing failure rates (eg other blocks, toothpicks, marshmallows, gum drops, spaghetti noodles, balls of clay / play doh).
  • Consider stronger wind forces (fans or different settings on blow dryers)
  • Have students create their own Nursery Rhymes stories using their own designs- they could write or record with an app like SeeSaw or Flipgrid
  • Allow students to identify the numerous shapes that are formed by their materials and talk about their different properties (squares, triangles, rectangles).  Talk about how certain shapes were stronger design ideas than others.
Tags #HumptyDumpty, #Literacy, #STEM, #Engineer,