A Great Read Aloud For Inquiry Based Learning

If you do a lot of open ended inquiry type learning with your students than I have a great read aloud for you!! It's especially great if you do things with your students like the Caine's arcade challenge.

One of the first blog posts I ever wrote was about Caine's arcade and I wish I had known about this book before I did the activity with my students. You can click on the image below to view the book on Amazon

The book is about a little girl who wants to make something...the most magnificent thing. She has it all planned out in her head, how it will look, how it will work, etc. Only when she made it, it doesn't turn out the way she envisioned.  So she sets back to work on it, making more improvements.  Eventually, she gets very upset and frustrated...so much so that she gives up. 

As she reflects over all the things she made she starts to see parts of each one that she likes. And then other people do to. This gives her the motivation to start working again on a new idea.  In the end she makes just what she always wanted. It still needs some work but she is quite happy with it. 

I think it sends a great message to our little tinkerers.  It's a great reminder to students that it might take several tries to get their creations just right, and it might never look or work exactly they way they had hoped but that they can keep trying.

I do many inquiries throughout the year and they often involve a lot of building, constructing, mess, tears, joy, perseverance and great learning. 

Check out the pics below from our playground inquiry...

Here is the Caine's Arcade video that inspired me to begin using inquiry to create a culture of explorers and risk takers in my classroom: 

Don't forget to check out that book with your students!


  1. Thanks so much for a wonderful book suggestion! My students and I love tinkering and creating, too, and this book sounds like a great fit. :)

  2. I came across your website while searching for makerspace read alouds. Thank you for the ideas and the inspirational video. I'm incorporating a makerspace component to summer library so I hope to inspire our students to make amazing things.

    Austin, TX

  3. I just ordered this book! Thanks so much. I can't wait to use it.