Teaching Public Speaking with Legos

Legos offer an enjoyable and non-threatening way to teach public speaking. What are some of the benefits to gaining effective public speaking skills? 1) Improved communication; 2) Increased self-esteem; 3) Planning experience;  4) The power of persuasion. The skills children acquire in this pragmatic class will benefit them throughout their lives.

Public speaking is one of the most important and dreaded forms of communications.

Many studies show more people fear public speaking than anything else.  Here is some good news. I created and taught a class at our co-op incorporating Legos. Many kids are thrilled to do anything when Legos are involved.

Here is how the class works:

Each week I teach a brief lesson about a public speaking skill. Topics include making eye contact, projection, inflection, and speaking clearly. After each presentation, peers respectfully offer feedback as to how the presenter fared incorporating those skills into his presentation.

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The Historic and Fairy Tale Minifig set from Lego Education has been extremely popular in my Lego classes.

 

 

My class has two Lego-building components:

  • Partner Build

The kids are given a very broad theme like nature. They are partnered up and build a Lego together. They then jointly get up in front of the class for a brief 1-2 minute non-rehearsed, impromptu presentation. They are required to work with all the personalities of the class over the course of the semester.

  • Home Build and Speech Practice

The kids are given a different theme for a Lego they will build for homework without a partner or team. They go home and build a Lego creation to bring and share with the class. Each student is given 3 minutes for his presentation. He prepares and practices his speech at home, integrating skills I have taught, ensuring he does not go over his time allotted. Peers offer feedback about how he did with incorporating the public speaking skills.

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My Lego classes also loved this Community Workers minifig set created by Lego Education.

 

21st-century skills developed in this class  include Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity.

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 Three of this Teaching with Legos series.

For more ideas about teaching with Legos, you may be interested in Lego Writing Club:

Lego Writing Club

 

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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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Note: If you decide to make a purchase through my blog link, Amazon will pay me a commission for it.  This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. So, thank you!