Novel Engineering: The Lost Boy and the Monster


ENGAGE STUDENTS IN THE ENGINEERING AND DESIGN PROCESS THROUGH THE PICTURE BOOK THE LOST BOY AND THE MONSTER! Encourage students to think creatively about the problems characters face in the books they read when you invite them to engineer alternative solutions.

You will need a copy of the picture book The Lost Boy and the Monster to accompany this lesson. You could also use the novel Skeleton Man with upper grades. 

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This Native American Folk Tale is such a great story to include in your makerspace! It has a number of problems for students to think creatively about. This invites student choice as they can choose a potential problem to solve and then each design their own solution. 

👉🏼 Read more about novel engineering with the book The Lost Boy and the Monster here!

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This activity addresses the following standards:


  • Learners engage with the learning community by collaboratively identifying innovative solutions to a challenge or problem.
  • Learners construct new knowledge by problem solving through cycles of design, implementation, and reflection.
  • Learners construct new knowledge by persisting through self-directed pursuits by tinkering and making.


  • Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
  • Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.