LEGO! No, they’re not just a toy you played with as a little kid or sharp obstacles that you step on as you enter your child’s play room. In fact, they’re a very versatile tool for educators.
The first time I decided I needed LEGO bricks in my classroom was after visiting The Art of the Brick Exhibit at the Franklin G. Burroughs- Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach while on vacation in 2016. I was blown away by how Nathan Sawaya took small bricks and built masterpieces out of them. Immediately, I knew my students would feel the same way.
Students know that as soon as they enter my classroom they’re engineers who build, solve problems, and create prototypes. LEGO bricks are a perfect tool to take a large scale design and bring it down to an elementary schooler’s level. LEGO bricks come out at least once a week in my classroom as students are tasked with solving problems such as building a castle for Cinderella, taking letters of the alphabet and building objects that start with each letter, making a trap for the leprechaun, and the list could go on!
However, the bricks can be used for even more than just building. Think of them as another math manipulative! A variety of lessons could be developed for fractions, sorting, nonstandard measurement, counting, and more. Beyond a teaching tool, can you think of a time when your students just need a brain break? We’re all in the midst of testing season and LEGO bricks provide the perfect tool for students to just be creative. Our world isn’t defined by an A, B, C, or D answer, like those tests seems to think, so give your students an opportunity to stretch their imaginations, take a brain break, and become engineers.
So I challenge you with this, see if you can find one way to incorporate LEGO bricks into your classroom. I bet before you know it, you’ll find yourself looking at Buy, Sell, Trade groups on Facebook or Goodwill to see if you can get more.