Any of you with young children have, most likely, already been dragged along to the latest Lego movie. The unlikely and reluctant hero, Emmet, sets out to save the Lego world, and through his quest children are encouraged to throw away the building directions and follow their imaginations when constructing their Lego masterpieces. The Lego song ‘Everything is Awesome’ is completely catchy, and I have heard at least two adults singing this out loud in public spaces, no doubt having heard it on countless occasions since seeing the movie. After taking my kids to the movie, the very first thing they did upon returning home was to take their Lego constructions apart so that they could find spare parts to make their new inventions.
Lego, the construction, creativity and planning has limitless possibilities. I have seen several ideas for using Lego in lessons, so I thought I’d pull them together in one place, and share a few of my own too.
Tallest LEGO Tower: Here are some Lego facts (and video clips – click on city name) to inspire any budding Lego builders / engineers in your class:
- One of the Tallest Lego Towers in the world was built in Sao Paolo, Brazil, in 2011. It took 500,000 bricks, 6,000 volunteers (mainly children), 5 days to build.It measured 102feet and 3 inches.
- The current word record for the tallest Lego Tower was set in Delaware, USA, in August 2013. It consisted of 420,000 bricks and was built by the students in the Red Clay School district. It measured 112 ft 11.75 in.
Five Great Lego Posts about using Lego in the classroom areI found online are:
1. Duplo Montessori Number Rods:
Create Montessori Number rods with Duplo. Totally Tots gives a great idea for how to explore numbers, and create Montessori number rods with your little ones. By making the rods in the blue, red, blue red, pattern (creating conversation about patten too), you can create a this traditional Montessori number tool, with Duplo you have at home. And you can explore number in a fun way too.
Montessori Number Rods (image & idea: Tiny Tots)
2. Greater Than or Less Than Lego Game
One Simple Day has a great idea for using Lego to make a ‘Great Than, Less Than’ game! By providing Lego bricks,a selection of numbers from 1-20 and a ‘>’ card, this simple and fun game, makes a hands on and visually effective way for students to explore the concepts of Greater Than and Less Than.
(image & idea: One Perfect Day)
3. Counting and Measuring with Lego
This idea of using Lego to make a number stick, with both numerals and dots is another hands on way for students to explore numbers. With a permanent pen write the numbers, and corresponding dots on individual Lego pieces. Students can then make a number stick with the Lego pieces. Counting, ordering numbers and measuring are just some of the fun activities that students can use the Lego for.
(Image & idea: The Imagination Tree)
4. The LEGO Interlocking brick technique:
When you look at a brick wall, and observe the pattern, the bricks are typically not stacked immediately on top of each other, but are placed overlapping each other so as to reinforce and strengthen the structure. I’ve always built Lego structures without thinking that this is called this the Interlocking Brick Technique. Homegrown Learners has a good post about how to explore this concept with your students as they build with Lego.
(Image & idea: Homegrown Learners)
5. Using Lego to Build Mathematical Concepts
Ever think about just how great Lego is for exploring and understanding mathematical concepts? Part-part-total, Square Numbers and Fractions are all explored and the activity explained clearly in this blog post. It’s a really good read with some great ideas.
(Image & idea from Scholastic)
And finally…….supercomperssor.com has 12 random facts you probably didn’t know about Lego. Did you know that over 4 billion mini figures have been produced to date? Or that Lego is the largest tire manufacturer in the world (producing more tires per year than Goodyear and Bridgestone combined? For more facts check out the blog post:
(Image & Facts: Supercompressor)