Building Bridges: Picture Books for My STEAMers

This week's STE(A)M project was building a bridge for an elephant (a little toy elephant). The kids had a blast working with cardstock and index cards. They were surprised at what they could do! We also learned some engineering vocabulary to go along with our project. We used the 21 Elephants as our story frame to get started. (details below)

To go along with our Reading STEM project tree, the kids will get additional "STEM Bucks," which is the currency of the classroom, when they read and report on a book. After we made our bridges in our STEAM class, I gave the students this list of the best bridges picture books (with building, engineering and architecture).

Books about Bridges

An asterisk* indicates either a shorter book or a book with an easier reading level. (Amazon Affiliate links below.)

*Bridges Are to Cross by Philemon Sturges. Simple text describing various uses for bridges and showing images of bridges around the world.

Cross a Bridge by Ryan Ann Hunter, illustrated by Edward Miller (Holiday House, 1998).

This Bridge Will Not Be Gray by Dave Eggers. The story of how the Golden Gate Bridge came to be built (and bright red).

Pop’s Bridge by Eve Bunting. Fictional account from the perspective of a girl whose father helps build the Brooklyn Bridge.

The Brooklyn Bridge: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Bridge by Elizabeth Mann

Twenty-one Elephants by Phil Bildner. How can a little girl convince her father the Brooklyn Bridge they watched be built is safe enough to cross? A Fictional tale based on a true story from 1884. (See also Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing by April Jones Prince.)

Bridges by Seymour Simon. Nonfiction early reader about bridges with photographs.

How Do Bridges Not Fall Down?  by Jennifer Shand, illustrated by Srimalie Bossami.

Who Built That: Bridges by Didier Cornille

Secret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Bult the Brooklyn Bridge by Rachel Dougherty

How Emily Saved the Bridge by Frieda Wishinsky, illustrated by Natalie Nelson

Here to There and Me to You: A Book of Bridges by Cheryl Keely, illustrated by Celia Krampien

More Books about Building and Engineering

An asterisk* indicates either a shorter book or a book with an easier reading level. These books cover more ideas on engineering and building. (Amazon Affiliate links below.)

*Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building by Christy Hale. Children’s building creations are compared to real architecture in poems, photos, and illustrations.

*Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

*Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty

*How a House is Built by Gail Gibbons.

*The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires. A girl is determined to create a solution for her problem.

*If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen. Delightfully imaginative!

*If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen. Lots of fun!

*Papa’s Mechanical Fish by Candace Fleming. A father is trying to create a marvelous invention.

*Building Our House by Jonathan Bean. A child helps his father build a house.

Look at that Building! by Scott Richie.

*The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale by Steven Guarnaccia

Fantastic Feats and Failures. Short accounts of amazing inventions and creations.

Mr. Ferris and his Wheel by Kathryn Gibbs Davis. Story about George Ferris’ idea for a wheel to ride on and his construction of the first “Ferris Wheel” for the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago.

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