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Learning Through Books: The Warlord’s Alarm STEM Activity

Warlord's Alarm STEM project.

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Learning through books with the Warlord's Alarm

The Warlord’s Alarm includes a fun STEM Project to Try

As you know, there are few things we love more in this house than books. Take my computer, cell phone, and TV but please leave me with books, coffee, and soft yarn for knitting. We have been having a ton of fun over here reading The Warlord’s books by Virginia Pilegard. They have been favorites for years.

Our most recent project was to make the alarm described in The Warlord’s Alarm. Apollo and I both enjoy reading these books together. The stories are well-written and the charming illustrations are fun to study.

Warlord's Alarm STEM project.

“Chuan and Jing Jing use their mathematical skills to ensure that the warlord wakes up on time. They are traveling to the emperor’s palace, and they can only sleep for four hours before resuming their journey in order to arrive as the emperor’s gates open. How will they wake up? There are no clocks at the inn where they are staying, so they must create their own alarm clock. Chuan and Jing Jing create a simplified Chinese water clock and awaken in time to rouse the warlord.”

Learning with books is fun using The Warlord's Alarm.

The Project

The project in The Warlord’s Alarm is to make a simple Chinese alarm clock. A few of my materials were different from what the book suggested and, honestly, it took a bit of trial and error to get this to work but it was so satisfying when it did.

Supplies Needed:

Styrofoam Cup
Small Bell
Plastic Lid (from milk carton) Yarn or String Toothpick
Pony Bead
Glass Jar Popsicle Stick


Gather Supplies:
Use a toothpick to poke a hole through the middle of the plastic lid and bottom of the styrofoam cup.

Run yarn through the plastic lid.
Tie pony bead to one side of the string (this keeps the yarn from slipping through).

Tie a bell to the other end of yarn.

Instructions for creating The Warlord's Alarm STEM project.

Make sure the yarn is short enough to pull the bell off of the popsicle stick when the cup is empty. Place cup in jar.
Fill the cup with water.
Place popsicle stick over the top of the cup.
Place a bell on popsicle stick while lid floats in the water.

Learning through books with the Warlord's Alarm

When the water drains outs, the bell will be pulled into the cup.
The sound of the bell is your alarm.

More Learning Ideas

How long did it take the cup to drain?
How long does it take if you only fill it halfway?

What happens if you make the hole bigger?

How else can you change the speed of the alarm?

Can you use anything other than liquid? How is your alarm different than Chuan’s?

For more learning download the free printable.

Be sure and check out The Warlord’s Beads and The Warlord’s Fish.


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