LEGO® – that iconic plastic brick toy – has come a long way since my childhood. Licensed specialty sets now let kids build models of Star Wars spaceships or entire scenes from the Harry Potter movies. But the basic bricks have never lost their power to engage imaginations and teach. Teachers’ blogs and Pinterest abound with ideas for teaching with LEGO, and from basic shape recognition to reading. Using just the basic bricks, here are 7 great ideas for teaching STEM with LEGO:
- Math Basics for PreK: Similarities, Patterns, Measuring
- Counting & Measuring Area & Perimeter
- Part/Whole, Arrays, Fractions, & Mean, Median and Range
- Another way to show fractions Line Symmetry & Rotational Symmetry
- Pythagorean Theorem (en Español)
- Bonus: Putting the “Art” in “STEAM” with LEGO
And if you want to demonstrate LEGO on a magnetic board, try making your own LEGO magnets! Beyond the basic bricks, LEGO wheels, axles, gears and pulleys have endless applications for teaching STEM – especially engineering – and LEGO MINDSTORMS® are designed for building robots. (Tufts University has an entire site devoted to LEGO Engineering.) LEGO itself has a website full of activities and sells curriculum-based sets to teach, for example, pneumatics.