LEGO is one of those toys that has been around for as long as most of us can remember. Many of us have fond memories of creating imaginary worlds and characters with LEGO when we were younger. Lately, LEGO is being reintroduced to children in their classrooms, as a valuable educational tool.
LEGO Serious Play focuses on fostering several different areas of learning that are meaningful to students, especially in the primary and junior levels. It is helpful in the development of oral language skills. It also promotes development of creative problem solving, and group work skills.
Amanda Visser has welcomed the use of LEGO Serious Play kits in her Junior Kindergarten class at Halton Hills Christian School. Her school has now invested in over 100 Serious Play LEGO kits. When asked how these LEGO kits work in the classroom, Amanda explains that each child receives a kit, and the teacher asks a challenging, curriculum based question. Then the students are given a brief time to think and build. When they have finished, each child shares his or her story of their build with their class, or in a small group. Their classmates, or the teacher, is given time to ask questions back to the student, challenging them to continue to develop their analytic thinking and problem solving skills.
“It is an excellent teaching tool for us to use so the kids are motivated and engaged at a different level,” says Halton Hills Christian School Principal Marianne Vangoor. “It helps kids to express themselves where paper and pen can’t. It is about thinking outside the box and it focuses on the new priorities of education in the 21st century.”