Posted in Curriculum, Educational Sites, Free!, Helpful Information, Practical Homeschool Tips, Programs

Legos & Homeschooling

Our family just LOVES Legos!

The kids love them because they love building things.  I love them because they foster creativity in our home.   And, maybe it’s because thousands of them have been all over our living room floor EVERY DAY for the past 10 years, but we’ve incorporated Legos into our homeschooling routine.  Following are some fun ways Legos can be used for Homeschooling:

PRESCHOOL:

Colors & Shapes:  Preschoolers can learn their colors and shapes by sorting Legos into appropriate piles.

ELEMENTARY:

Math Manipulatives:  If your kids are young, you probably need math manipulatives to help your children learn how to add, subtract, multiply, divide, how to count by 10’s, etc.  Why purchase manipulatives when you can use Legos?

Teaching Fractions:  Legos come in so many shapes and sizes.  Lego 1 x 2 bricks. Lego 2 x 2 bricks.  Lego 3 x 2, Lego 4 X 2.  These different brick sizes can easily be used to teach fractions.  For more cool Lego Math ideas and worksheets, check out this post from Scholastic: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/top-teaching/2013/12/using-lego-build-math-concepts.

Science (Human Body):  If you have a large variety of Legos in your house, Lego hinge plates can be used to explain hinge joints.  Lego Bionicles are a great tool for explaining how ball & socket joints work.

MIDDLE SCHOOL:

Art History (Ancient Babylonians or Ancient Egypt):  Learning about the Tower of Babel?  Learning about the Pyramid of Giza?  A great way to reinforce these lesson plans is to assign the building of the Tower of Babel or the Pyramid of Giza with Lego bricks.

Art History (Middle Ages):  Learning about the castles built during the Middle Ages?  Have your children build their own Medieval Castle out of Legos.  To emphasize the history lesson you’ve covered, tell them to include some or all of the following in their design:  a catapult, a portcullis, a moat, arrow slits, the keep, drawbridge, the bailey, a siege tower, a battering ram, and the barbican.

Art History (Islamic Empire):  If you’re studying a history of the Islamic Empire, discussing the intricate mosaics created at the time is a typical topic.  For a fun activity, have your children create their own mosaics out of Legos.

3-D Art Project:  Provide your child with an assortment of 3-D objects: a bowl of cereal, a banana, a tissue box, a pineapple, etc.  Ask them to choose one, and using their Legos, make a life-size 3-D model.  Want to inspire your kids?  Here’s a cool article about a 14 year old’s life size 3-D Lego Iron Man: http://www.bitrebels.com/geek/iron-man-lego-build/

Bible Supplement:  This website visually represents gospel stories with Lego images.  Pretty cool!  Some images may not be suitable for children. http://www.thebricktestament.com/the_gospels/index.html

Lego Art — Animation:  If you have an i-phone or i-pad you can easily teach students how to create their own Lego Animations!  This app is free to download and makes it easy: http://www.fingerlab.net/website/Fingerlab/iMotion_HD.html

 To see a sample Stop-Motion Lego Animation check out this video on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOvEhWfneUM.  Last year our homeschool group held a Lego Animation class.  We hired Adam Thomas (from Talking Stick Learning Center) to teach us how to use the Stop-Motion app.  He is available to teach Lego Animation to other homeschool groups as well.  His email is adamccthomas@gmail.com.  (The ones we did were much shorter than the example above.  They were only a few seconds long, but they turned out great and the kids had a blast.  I was hoping to share some of their video creations on this blog, but apparently, I don’t have video capability.)

Lego Science — Robotics:  If your children are interested in Lego Robotics, Lego Mindstorms are a pretty cool educational toy:  http://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/?domainredir=mindstorms.lego.com

Lego Science — Atoms & Molecules: Legos can be used to illustrate how elements can combine.  Check out this poster for some ideas: https://rebrick.lego.com/en-US/bookmark/kockamania-hu-mdash-lego-atoms-and-molecules–chemical-reactions—-/tx1y6y

Lego Science — DNA:  Students can build simple DNA molecules out of Legos.  Check out this Youtube video for an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pIIUz1CM-s

HIGH SCHOOL:

Lego Physics: Free Online Lego Physics Curriculum (Note:  There are evolutionary themes in some of these lessons.) http://ph.qmul.ac.uk/sites/default/files/Engagement/SEPnet_Lego%20teacher%20resource_low%20res%20reference%20PDF%20as%20spreads.pdf

Lego Fission & Fusion:  Free Online Fission & Fusion Lesson plan (Note:  Some evolutionary themes.) http://ph.qmul.ac.uk/sites/default/files/Engagement/QMUL_Fission_Fusion.pdf

Lego Particle Physics: Free online particle physics Lesson plan: http://ph.qmul.ac.uk/sites/default/files/Engagement/SEPnet%20LEGO%20leaflet_A%20level.pdf

FAST LEGO CLEAN-UP:

Fast Lego Clean-up:  Cleaning up Legos every day used to take us forever.  Now it only takes a few minutes.  A fellow homeschool mom taught me this trick.  Put all of your Legos on a large sheet.  For a quick clean-up, just grab the four corners of the sheet, and put your pile of Legos in a large container.  (I believe this idea is also listed in the book Homeschool Supermom, Not! by Susan Kemmerer.)

PHILADELPHIA LEGOS

Did you know the Franklin Institute has a cool, new Lego exhibit?  To check it out, click on this link:  https://www.fi.edu/exhibit/art-of-the-brick Admission to the Franklin Institute is FREE on these Target Community Nights (see below).  However, there is an additional fee to see the Lego Exhibit.

  • Wed, April 15th
  • Wed, May 20th
  • Wed, June, 17th
  • Wed, July 15th

Hope these ideas are helpful!

Posted by Gwen Fredette on March 23rd, 2015

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s