The following literature selections are organized into four categories: fairy and ethnic tales, picture books, historical fiction and fiction chapter books. Each selection includes appropriate grade level range, story summary, and possible design challenges. Some selections also include extensions.
"Engineering design challenges" are created by actionable items in the story and lead to inquiry based team projects that have a design theme. As an example, in the story "Island of the Blue Dolphins", the village leaves canoes on the side of a hill for escaping a potential attack. The heroine in the story has a difficult time getting one of them down the hill and into the water. A "design challenge" for the students could be to design a system to make it easier for her to lower the canoe.
The students can pick the character they are working for in the story to create a design challenge. As an example they might want to work for the wolf in the 3-pigs to find a way to catch the pigs.