Thirty third grade students from a Title I school in a rural community come to school each day eager to learn. 50% are Hispanic, 20% are Native American, and 30% are Caucasian. 75% of them quality for free and reduced lunch. They burst through the doors each day with anticipation and excitement. They want to know more, and do better. They are the future.
When they grow up they will be our leaders, the voice of tomorrow.
They will be teachers and doctors and lawyers and singers. They will be business owners, farmers, ranchers, and someday mothers and fathers. They will be graduates. But first, they need to be 3rd graders.
Students in my community need to see that the world is a big place and they are an important part of it. They need to know that they can make a difference and that they can set an example for their families. They need to see that they are in charge of their future and it starts with their education.
In order to become a good writer, you need to be inspired. Building a story with the LEGO bricks will allow ALL learners to use STEM to create stories visually that they can later write about and share with classmates.
Students will independently create a scene on a LEGO base plate and then describe their creation with story elements on paper which will later be a complete story from beginning to end that can be shared with classmates.
Learning can be extended with iMovie and other technology that will allow students to share their stories in other ways as well.
All levels of learners will benefit from this activity. STEM opportunities provide students with different learning styles a way to stretch their brains beyond paper and pencil by using their hands to demonstrate their knowledge with a physical product. Below level readers will have a chance to create their stories, on-level readers will have an opportunity to extend their learning with creativity, and above level readers will have an opportunity to lengthen their understanding and deepen meaning with technology options to take their stories to the next level. This is an exciting opportunity for students!
Most students in my classroom do not have access to LEGO products. In a world where technology dominates our society, having an opportunity to create with your hands is a wonderful way to stretch your brain and demonstrate understanding of the objectives we are studying in class.
I am lucky to have some basic LEGO blocks that I have purchased for my classroom. Having base plates and the Fantasy and Community Minifigure sets will allow students to create in a way that basic LEGO shapes do not.
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