December STEM Project-Based Learning Gingerbread House Circuits (5 Day Lesson)


Grade Level: , ,

December STEM Project-Based Learning Gingerbread House Circuits (5 Day Lesson)


Grade Level: , ,


Are you looking for more extensive STEM challenges for your students? Check out this Gingerbread House STEM project-based learning activity! It’s aligned with both language arts (ELA) standards, math standards (basic operations/money and fractions), and science / engineering standards (NGSS). I recommend this project for grades 3, 4, and 5.

Print & Digital Versions of the Student Pages are BOTH Included!

*A sample 5 day lesson plan and rubric is created. Student pages are included as well. It’s all inclusive!


ELA Standards & Skills

  • W.4. Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
  • W.8: Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
  • R.I.2: Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
  • R.I.3: Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.
  • Speaking and Listening: Standard 1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.


Science Standards & Skills

  • P.S3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer.Energy can also be transferred from place to place by electric currents.
  • 3-5-ETS1-1. Define a simple design problem (NGSS)Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
  • 4-PS3-4. Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.
  • 3-5-ETS1-2. (NGSS)Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.


Math Standards & Skills

  • 3.MD.C.5 Recognize area as an attribute of plane figures and understand concepts of area measurement.
  • 3.MD.D.8 Solve real world and mathematical problems involving perimeters of polygons, including finding the perimeter given the side lengths, finding an unknown side length, and exhibiting rectangles with the same perimeter and different areas or with the same area and different perimeters.
  • 4.MD.3 Apply the area and perimeter formulas for rectangles in real world and mathematical problems.
  • 5.NF.B.4 Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication to multiply a fraction or whole number by a fraction.


Follow the process below to complete your project:

  1. Read about gingerbread houses and circuits (2 passages included).
  2. Research circuits and paper circuits (asking questions / citing sources).
  3. Design a gingerbread house and light design (circuit) (engineering process).
  4. Make your design better (revise).
  5. Calculate the cost of your gingerbread house (math)
  6. Test your structure (testing and discussion)
  7. Reflect


Supplies: A supply letter to send home to parents is included. Check out the included blog post for more info on supplies (and links to buy the exact supplies I used).

  • Cardboard
  • Lithium Batteries (3V)
  • Paper clips and binder clips
  • White paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Copper Tape
  • LED lights (variety pack)
  • Square & rectangular gingerbread cookies
  • White icing
  • Sprinkles, gumdrops, and other candy


Rubric included!



Bundles Available

Buy the Seasonal STEM project bundle and save money off of buying them individually!

Want WAY more awesome projects? Get unlimited access to EVERY GRADE LEVEL PBL and more features! (over 50% off!) – Includes this project!


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