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LEARNING WITH LEGOS
Kate Pepper, art educator at Monart School of Art and former WCS pre-school teacher, designed the curriculum used in the Learning With Legos classes in conjunction with specialty sets designed by Lego Corp. Learning With Legos classes are ideal for both boys and girls that have an interest in science, math, building, invention, machines, story telling and literature or enjoy working with their hands. Legos are the perfect medium to build with to improve fine motor skills, task completion, teamwork, cooperation, and to enhance visual perception skills and spatial awareness. New themes and lessons are created each semester for fresh investigations and narratives. We believe continued learning is always more enjoyable and creative when it is sufficiently challenging; lessons gradually become more challenging throughout each semester. Specially designed Lego kits will be provided to build with in class as well as related problem solving worksheets to complete. Each week student’s creations will be posted on Facebook for parents to view. This class is perfect for any child who is creative and likes to build with their hands!
Building with Lego bricks in general explores the inside out of construction and design. Not only does our popular Learning With Legos program explore core curriculum (math, science, technology, language arts and visual arts), but equally appealing are these side benefits:
- Refines fine motor skills, logic and problem solving
- Works on peer relationships, teamwork, taking turns and listening to others’ thoughts and observations
- Fosters visual-spatial abilities, creativity, confidence and ingenuity
- Inspires cooperative and independent play, while encouraging expression and open-ended design
Learning With Legos Curriculum Highlights for ages 4 ½ – 7
Students experience several different building sets created by Lego Corp. including: Story Starters, Early Simple Machines, Café, Math Train, Animal Bingo, Creative Builders, Early Structures, Playground, Tech Machines and Community People. In this language-arts based class, children will build scenes from classical literature, build Lego food and plan menus, practice using play money, design construction vehicles and use tools, build through the alphabet and practice forming words with the Lego letters. Each lesson is carefully planned to encourage creativity and ingenuity in a playful, exciting environment. Our program supports students in expressing ideas and thoughts as well as promoting group discussion about creations and stories.
For example, a dinosaur unit of study was completed recently in Lego class at The Art Park. A book was read and a new lesson was introduced each week at group time. Examples of dinosaur lessons taught in that semester include: building scenes from the book, investigating different dino habitats and periods, creating an ABC patterned dino train, categorizing carnivorous and herbivorous dinosaurs, learning about pre-historic man and creating a foam dinosaur craft that was printed upon with Lego bricks to create scale patterns! Countless other themes have been incorporated with the Lego curriculum including vehicles, safari, zoo, construction, food and restaurant, mythical legends and creatures, and many more. As students build each week, many math and pre-reading concepts are introduced in conjunction with the theme. For example, when students read the book Freight Train, by Donald Crews, they are learning about colors, sequencing, counting, planning and machines. These are all necessary skills for early math concepts in the regular ed. classroom. Each Learning With Legos lesson is geared to stimulate creative problem solving skills, imagination and to augment science, technology, math, literacy and art in a fun, age appropriate manner.
Learning With Legos Curriculum Highlights for ages 7-12
Lego Corp. has designed several advanced language arts, math and applied science sets and curriculums for classroom use. Learning With Legos uses several of these sets including Story Starters, Simple Machines, Motorized Mechanisms, More To Math, Learn To Learn and Build To Express. All of these different sets will be used in each semester of Learning With Legos classes. Students with different interests will all enjoy the variety of curriculum in each semester (please see detailed descriptions for each set below).
Lego Story Starters curriculum is specifically designed to support language arts. The goals are to enhance students’ reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. With the Story Starter software, students can present, share and document their stories for family and friends. Their creations will be photographed and imported to the software and printed enabling our young authors to customize their work.
Lego Simple Machines and Motorized Mechanisms are pre-robotics sets which are perfect for any child that has an interest in science, technology, engineering, math, building and inventing or working with their hands. The problem solving, hands-on activities will help develop students’ understanding of basic physical and applied science and mechanical principals such as gears, pulleys, levers, wheels and axles. Each lesson challenges students to investigate and understand the operation of simple and compound machines found in everyday life. This is accomplished through observation, reasoning, prediction and critical thinking.
More To Math (new!) introduces a new math challenge with each lesson and students are urged to solve the problem using Lego bricks. This curriculum is designed to encourage students to have a positive attitude towards solving math problems. More To Math encourages students to experiment and to apply their knowledge creatively after they have completed the presented lesson of the week.
Learn to Learn (new!) Children learn best when they experience things first-hand and within a meaningful context. This new Lego curriculum awakens student’s natural curiosity and challenges them to build something functional or meaningful to them. Students will be encouraged to share with the group why their creation is important to them thus strengthening peer relationships, practicing speaking in front of a small group and learning proper audience behavior.
Build To Express (new!) This unique Lego set enables students to build their way to better communication skills. It creates a highly motivational, non-judgmental environment for students to express their thoughts and feelings. The Build to Express set is geared for creative expression in a safe, relaxed setting.