This post is part of my participation in the Netflix Stream Team but all opinions are my own. #streamteam
Netflix has a lot of great new stuff going on right now. They just released the first season of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, which I’m actually watching right now. I’ll be honest, I have never read the books. We have them in our classroom library…I think the first eight or so but I myself have not cracked the spine on one of them. That isn’t saying much as I don’t have time to do much spine cracking at all these days yet from watching this show I know that these books would have easily been a favorite of mine as a child. I love the dark Gothic like scenes and wordy language they use. The scenes from this somewhat depressing tale come to life in an extraordinary way on Netflix in wonderfully almost storybook like sets. It is the kind of odd that pulls you in and keeps your senses searching for normal where there is no normal. Their world is as if another universe full of adults who don’t listen, rules that don’t make sense, and a baby that not only puts everything in her mouth but also chops parsley with her teeth. Although some of the special effects are fairly noticeable it is almost as if they are intentional and feels like part of this abnormal and unsettling world. I found myself lost in not only the visual eye candy but the story and eager to find out what happens to these special but very unlucky children.
The story is one of a depressing nature although we are fair warned in the beginning that what we as the viewer are about to witness will not be a tale that finishes with happily ever after. We are sent down an oddly entertaining rabbit hole of villainy and despair as before us unfolds the most unfortunate of events on three innocent children. You want to cheer for the children as they find their ways to adapt and even conquer their circumstances but you also fear cheering prematurely as you can sense that more gloom is just around the bend. Along the journey you will pick up an odd payoff to the rather wordy and descriptive writing style. New words are often used but also defined. I have finally got my son to see the difference in literally and figuratively. I, literally, have been begging him to stop, literally, using literally for every single thing he literally says…just like that right there. Drives me figuratively crazy…… What was I saying again? Maybe it isn’t so “figuratively” crazy…
Violet is the eldest daughter and has an inventor’s mind. She uses her mind to build extraordinary inventions. After watching her build and create my kids were inspired to build their own inventions. It got me thinking about what other shows on Netflix could be used for similar inspiration in the classroom. So I made a list!
5 shows on Netflix that encourage STEAM Education
- Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events – These children use what items they have on hand to create, explore, build, and learn. They exhibit the love of learning while also showcasing examples of planning, organizing, and testing. Science, Math, Engineering, Technology… they cover it all here.
- Project MC 2 – Teen Secret agents who use their brains to create…my daughter was hooked at teen agent. This show proves to girls that they can be cool and build awesome spy gadgets at the same time. 🙂
- Team Toon – This show is Lou’s absolute favorite. Four kids use their minds to bring to life their own cartoon character and together they solve everyday crimes at their school. They also create their own web show every episode about a psycho squirrel.
- The Magic School Bus – The one show I contribute 80% of my scientific knowledge as a child to…I might go as high as 90% even. I can still recall all the interesting facts I learned about volcanoes from a Magic School Bus book.
Some Assembly Required – A show about a kid running their own toy company. Sure it is a comedy and made for laughs but they explore all the facets of running a business from designing a toy to marketing the toy.
After these shows, the kids will be brimming with eagerness and ideas for their own creations!
Now it’s time to put all that thought into action. I have included a worksheet to work up some new invention planning ideas. Just print and use to plan out the creation, what it will be used for, what it does, and what it looks like. 🙂 Feel free to share what your kids come up with me!
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