Teaching with Legos to Develop 21st-Century Skills: Lego Writing Club

Teaching with Legos to Develop 21st-Century Skills: Lego Writing Club

I love to incorporate Legos into our learning!!! I have created and taught three Lego classes for our co-op. This post, the first in a series about teaching with Legos, will be about the Lego Writing Club.

 Kids delight in writing more when they have an audience of their peers and not just their parents or teacher.

Lego Writing Club incorporates the following 21st-century skills: 1) Collaboration and teamwork; 2) Oral and written communication; 3) Creativity and imagination; 4) Flexibility and adaptabilty; and 5) Technology literacy.

An excellent selection of minifigs is very helpful in generating imaginative stories. Lego Education developed two superb minifigure sets that were huge hits with my classes. LEGO Education’s Fairytale and Historic Minfigures Set as well as the Community Workers Set are both fantastic for this class!

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Here are some more details about the flow of the class:

  • All students are addressed as authors or writers. Each week we begin the class with  one or two “Featured Authors of the Week” reading their story.

All students are addressed as authors or writers.

  • I teach a brief grammar lesson that the authors incorporate into their writing. For instance, I taught a couple of weeks over the proper use of quotation marks in writing dialogue. I developed a cumulative checklist, similar to the IEW concept, that they used each week to incorporate the writing skills into their stories.
  • I give the class a very open-ended theme for the build, such as ocean or winter, and break them up into teams. They collaborate and agree on a setting, conflict and main characters before touching any Legos.  Sometimes they build three different scenes for the beginning, middle and end.
  • After the builds are completed, I take pictures of each one. Next, I  upload the pictures to our free class website on MeWe and also include the details of their setting, conflict and main characters. Any class website or page should work.
  • The authors write a story at home based on their build and upload it on MeWe. Parents assist in the revision process. It is interesting to see how the stories within each team differ once they go home and add their own unique twist. My kids loved reading their peers’ stories each week on MeWe. Peer feedback is encouraged.

I hope you found this post useful and can use it in your co-op, classroom or with a group of friends. Stay tuned for Part Two of this Teaching with Legos series.

Here are some other posts you may enjoy:

Fun Ways to Teach Writing Without Buying a Curriculum

Making Writing Enjoyable

Teaching Public Speaking with Legos

How We Homeschool 4th & 5th Grade

Find out how my kids learned to type using a fun and free program:

Fun and Free Typing Program

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Benefits of Experiential Learning

Homeschooled students have much more time to engage in experiential learning than their conventionally-schooled peers. Are you taking advantage of your freedom and flexibility as a homeschool family to reap the enjoyment and benefits of experiential learning?

Homeschooled students have much more time to engage in experiential learning than their conventionally-schooled peers.

I’m a big proponent of being structured in our house so we can finish our academic work and be out experiencing the world. Here are some reasons I love experiential learning:

  1. Fosters Innovation and Creativity–New and unusual experiences wire our brains to think differently. They stimulate original thinking and trigger a broad range of thinking strategies which can’t be garnered from books or lectures.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 65% of today’s grade-school kids will end up at jobs that haven’t been invented yet. Technology is eradicating many jobs causing employers to seek out creative and innovative individuals.
  2. Learn From Mistakes–With hands-on learning, students learn from trial and error what works and what doesn’t. Instead of seeing a mistake as a failure, it can be viewed as an opportunity from which to learn and build upon.
  3. Memorable Learning–Experiential learning is usually far more engaging, fun and memorable than sitting through a lecture and being in the same classroom day after day. These hands-on experiences in varied and interesting locations will be seared into the students’ brains for many years to come. This is the opposite from the brain dump that occurs after taking a test about information that seems irrelevant to the student. Much of what a student learns sitting in the classroom he sees as irrelevant.
  4. Increases Neural Connections–The coupling of theoretical learning with real hands-on learning increases connections between neurons. Homeschool parents are intimately involved in our children’s education.  We are able to assist with making connections between things we are learning in our academics and books and tying those in with real-world experiences and experiential learning. The more connections that are made, the smarter the student will be!
  5. Builds Collaboration and Teamwork Skills–When engaged with experiential learning, a student is often working with a partner or team. Not only does this mean working with different personalities and backgrounds but in homeschool this also means collaborating with students of various ages. This mirrors the real world working environment.
  6. Joyful For Our Family–As a homeschool family, we often engage in experiential learning jointly. We have a blast growing in knowledge together. This really fosters a love of learning and creates strong family bonds.

I am so grateful for my freedom in homeschool to provide these wonderful experiential learning opportunities for my kids! What an amazing life we have!

Are you taking advantage of your freedom and flexibility as a homeschool family to reap the enjoyment and benefits of experiential learning?

For ideas on adding more structure to your schedule to allow more time for experiential learning, you may be interested in:

Academic Scheduling for More Experiential Learning Part One

Academic Scheduling for More Experiential Learning Part Two

Here were our curriculum choices last school year:

An Example of an Eclectic, Academic Homeschool Curriculum

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