Lesson Plans and More Featuring Legos and The Lego Movie
I have always loved Legos, but my 9 year old’s passion for them makes it seem like I hardly like them at all. Yes, I am a Mom, but honestly, my son’s abilities are worth bragging about (if I do say so myself). 🙂 In fact, he has wanted to be an architect since he was 3. Moreover, at around 5 decided that he wants to be a Lego Engineer!
For this reason, he has been completing sets that are designated for 16+ without any help (except for the frequent shouts of “I can’t find the piece I need” followed by nice Mommy crawling on the floor to sift through the piles of bricks to help). An example of his passion is his latest project: London’s Tower Bridge, and boy, was I ever impressed. Here is a picture of him with the finished project:
UPDATED: My son is now 12, and still loves Legos! In fact, here he is with his latest huge projects that he did entirely on his own in just a few weeks!
Hence, my son’s passion really got me thinking that there simply must be some good lesson plans and activities featuring Legos; after all, they certainly teach many subjects, from math to physics and more! I went on a quest to find some and here are the best (in my opinion, anyway)!
Did you know that Lego has a separate education site?
I guess I must have missed this fabulous site somehow! The site indicates that its goal is as follows:
LEGO® Education designs and produces total solutions for preschool environments, schools, and after-school clubs. Our goal is to be part of a child’s entire preschool and school career. We want students to associate LEGO sets with fun-filled, rich learning experiences, and for teachers and childcare professionals to see them as essential tools that engage their students, challenging their creativity and significantly enhancing their knowledge and understanding. We’ve been developing solutions to meet this goal since 1980.
First, to read more about the site’s mission, click here. Honestly, you could get lost in all the great stuff available on this site, so you will definitely have to sit down and check it out for yourself. However, here are a few of my favorite activities found on the site (please note that some of these do require “special” Legos that you will have to order; see below for lessons that only require basic bricks):
- Build Me a Wall – Students will learn measurement and spacial awareness by following verbal instructions to build a wall. Students must listen carefully to build their wall to the correct dimensions, installing doors and windows along the way. When complete, each wall is combined to form one side of a multi-storied building.
- Conveyor Curiosity – Students design and construct a conveyor belt powered by alternative energy sources. They then test the speed, durability, and functionality of their design.
- The History of Measurement – Students learn early forms of measurement and explore why many are considered inaccurate.
- A Tour of the Solar System – Students will build a LEGO rocket to travel through the solar system.
Lego Movie Teaching Resources
Next, if you haven’t seen the Lego Movie yet, I highly recommend it. I thoroughly enjoyed it and so did my kids. In addition to lots of laughs and fun, the movie also had a fabulous message (you’ll have to go see it to find out what it is, since I hate spoilers)! Here is the trailer, followed by some great ways to use it as a learning resource:
- Amazing set of free downloadable resources from the National Schools Partnership. Includes four cross-curricular lesson plans and four Powerpoint presentation to use in the classroom, activity sheets and a classroom poster, and a storyboard template and information about a competition.
- LEGO Movie Makes Engineering Awesome – Some great science resources.
- Lots of free downloads and printables from the official Lego site
- Movie printables (FREE!)
- Free movie printable coloring pages
- Printables, Coloring Pages, Activities and Downloads (FREE!)
Additional Lego Lessons and Activities
- Lego Reading Fluency Cards Lesson (scroll down to find lesson)
- Design and Build Lego Cars
- Several Lesson Plans from Lego Robotic
- Great List of Links for Using Legos in Lessons and Creative Play
- Huge Set of Links to Lego Sculptures
- Kids Collect Legos for New Orleans – Grades 2 and up – Arts & Humanities (Architecture, Visual Arts); Mathematics; Social Studies (Civics, Current Events)
- Cooperative Carbon Copy LEGO Creations – Math Skill Building – skills include cooperation, observation, communication, memory, accuracy, and description.
- LEGO homeschool! Oodles of lesson plans and more for every grade and subject
Legos are an amazing way to introduce kids to engineering! Here are some great resources to help get you started.
- Lego Engineering – The aim of this site is to inspire and support teachers to go beyond the basics in bringing LEGO-based engineering to all students. TONS of great resources!!
- Galileo.org – Nice collection of links to robotics resources
- Building with Mindstorms – A place for novices to learn, intermediate builders to become experts, and for experts to share their experience. Mindstorms news, tips, epic creations, and discussions will be posted here.
LEGO Education Resources
LEGO and the Lego Movie Books
Finally, here are some of my favorite Lego sets, some inspired by the Lego Movie, (approved by my son, of course!) that you can use as learning tools or just for some good, clean fun!