Last Wednesday Miguel Ángel Martín Mas, from Santísima Trinidad School (Salamanca), showed a group of teachers the educational potential of the LEGO Education LearnToLearn set. LearnToLearn is an educational tool that helps primary school pupils to achieve curriculum goals within Design&Technology, Literacy, Maths, Science, and Humanities, while also building and reinforcing the most fundamental learning skills of the 21st century: Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving.
Firstly, we built a duck with only eight bricks. Every teacher used the same bricks, yet each duck was unique! The morale was instantly clear for everyone since we all work with children.
Then a problem solving activity linked to the nursery rhyme "London Bridge is falling down". The two characters in the LearnToLearn bag want to meet but they have choppy waters flowing between them. Miguel asked us to help the two characters to spend the afternoon together.
This activity also allowed us to develop communicative functions in English such as:
- A phone call to meet at the bridge
- Expressing feeling: how do you feel after having built the bridge?
After that our trainer played an OA phonics video and he asked us to create an object whose name contained this sound, e.g. boat, toad...
After that, a Science activity called Brick Biology. Working in couples we used one of the LearnToLearn sets to build the animal we had chosen. Then we constructed our animals habitat using the other partner's set. We were encouraged to answer the following questions:
- What are the characteristics of your animal and its habitat
- How was the animal adapted to live in this habitat?
- Is the animal endangered? If so, why or how is it endangered?
A snake in the jungle
A giraffe in the savanna
A duck in a pond
To finish with LEGO, we had to build Mr. Learnie to ensure that we all had our bricks before tidying-up.
The icing on the cake was a whole set of ideas to teach history to pupils, this time, not with LEGO but with two hundreds years old realia. Here you have some of these relics:
British regimental buttons
Top job Miguel Ángel!