Lego is amazing. I hesitate calling it a toy because it is so much more than that.
I have used it in my classroon in a variety of different ways and I know that its educational benefits are pretty much limitless.
I have yet to see a kid who doesn’t like playing with Lego. But as teachers, we can move beyond simply having a Lego bin available for free time play.
We can use Lego to let our students explore scientific concepts, to build working simple machine models, and to be totally engaged in their work.
My school purchased 8 of these educational Lego kits. This kit focuses on gears and nothing else.
You can teach an entire unit on simple machines using Lego. I just have the students work in groups of three when using these kits.
Each kit has about a dozen models that the students can build.
There are easy to follow instructions and they highlight the scientific principles involved in each model.
I photocopied the instructions and whited-out the scientific explanations so that the students could make predictions before testing out their creation.
Here is an example.
How fast do you think the small wheel will turn when you turn the large driver?
I covered every aspect of the Grade 4 Science Unit on Gears and Pulleys just by using these Lego kits.
The pulley kits work pretty much the same way.
Use What You Have