LEGO Smart Activities

Announcing the 2011 LEGO Smart Creativity Contest winners!

Congratulations to the 2011 LEGO Smart Creativity Contest winners!

The slate of winners was revealed at the STEM Summit in St. Louis in November. The nationwide contest was designed for educators to showcase their creativity by demonstrating in an original video how they use LEGO Education materials to spark student innovation.

The videos had to be less than 150 seconds and could feature classrooms using the materials, students telling a story, or a LEGO animation. Winners were selected in five segments: Lower Elementary (K-2), Upper Elementary (3-5), Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), and Homeschool. In addition, one Grand Prize Winner was chosen from all submitted entries.

The Grand Prize Winner received a $5,000 gift certificate for LEGO Education products and an all-expense-paid trip for two to the STEM Summit. All segment winners received a $2,500 LEGO Education gift certificate and a trip to attend the summit in St. Louis.

To view the 2011 LEGO Smart Creativity Contest winners, click here.

LEGO Smart Contest Winners Announced!

CONGRATULATIONS to each of our 2010 LEGO® Smart Creativity Contest winners and the 20,000 contestants who registered for this year's challenge!


This year’s LEGO Smart Creativity Contest drew contestants from across the nation, representing all grade levels, and from all subject areas. The challenge? To create a classroom lesson about renewable energy that used LEGO elements to construct an object students would be studying.

We saw entries focusing on everything from solar power to generating energy from farm waste. The number of creative classroom lessons filtering into our contest inbox was simply amazing. So, again, congratulations to all our participants and especially this year's contest winners!

Lower Elementary Category
Grand Prize Winner: 
Solar Powered School by Renee Griffin, Pine Grove Elementary

First Place Winners:
Reduce and Reuse to Help the Environment by Nancy Rivera, Rivera Homeschool
Renewable Energy: Wind and Water by Tammie Koelle, Homeschool Educator

Upper Elementary Category
Grand Prize Winner:
Sunshine City by Karen Loutzenhiser, Homeschool Educator

First Place Winners:
LEGO Energy Blox by Janice Trees, Trees Family Homeschool
LEGO Star Windmill by Melissa Zammit, Sonshine Christian School

Middle School Category

In the coming months LEGO Education will add the winning activities to our web site, allowing educators from around the globe access to your classroom lesson plan.

Creating a LEGO Smart Windmill

LEGO Smart Activity
By LEGO Education

Wind power is a safe and inexpensive renewable energy source. Wind farms can be found around the world with more than 20% of some countries' energy produced by wind turbines! Within the United States, Texas leads the pack in energy produced by wind, generating enough power for up to 600,000 homes!

Within this activity, we will use the elements of the LEGO Smart Kit to create a movable LEGO Smart windmill. There are no right or wrong ways to construct the windmill; however, when it is complete, the blades must be able to turn. (Hint: The key lies within the smallest brick in the kit!)

After you have built your fully functional windmill, discuss the ways you might use wind energy in your classroom. What could you power with this renewable energy source? What other sources of renewable energy are there, and what could you build with LEGO bricks to represent those sources of power?

Flags of the World

LEGO Smart Activity
By Daniel Carter, LEGO Education

The goal is to introduce students to the flags of the world. Flags represent many different people, places, and things. Exploring flags can be a fascinating journey into the history, mystique, origin, and lives of many cultures.

Using the bricks provided in a LEGO Smart Kit, ask students to build a structure based on the colors of various flags around the world. Each level of the structure must represent a color of a flag. For example, the American flag can be represented by a blue brick since blue is in the American flag, while a white brick can be used to represent the Canadian flag, and so forth.The structure with the most levels wins!

Flags can be from any country or represent any group, state, or organization. All levels must be the same height and fit within the confines of the previous level. The current record is nine levels!                                   

Center of Mass Exploration

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Ian Durham, Saint Anselm College

In order to assist activity leaders in using this activity, a URL leading to a PDF that includes some basic pictures is listed at the end of the following description. 1. Students begin with the 8x2 brick and the single 1x1 brick.  Initially they mount the 1x1 piece directly under the 8x2 in the dead center and set it on a table.  It should stand on its own without leaning (barely).  Note that this means the single 1x1 piece should be placed into one of the holes under the 8x2 piece. 2. Next, have the students mount a 6x2 piece crosswise on the end of the top of the 8x2 piece.  The constructed piece should no longer balance.  Students should now experiment with the 1x1 piece, moving it around among the seven holes pictured above until they find a location at which it balances when set on the table. Question for students: Did you ahve to move the smaller piece toward the 6x2 piece or away from it? Why do you think that is?  Note to teacher: Assemble led structure should balance with the 1x1 piece in the third hole from the right. 3. Students should then add a second 6x2 piece on top of the first.  They will once again find that they need to move the small 1x1 piece in order for the whole thing to balance. Note to teacher: Assembled structure should balance with the 1x1 piece in the second hole from the right. 4. Next, students will need the following pieces: the 1x1 piece again, the thin 4x4 piece, two regular 4x2 pieces, and two regular 2x2 pieces.  Students should mount one 4x2 piece and one 2x2 piece on top of the 4x4 slab such that they form an L.  The second 4x2 piece should be mounted on top of the first with the second 2x2 piece being mounted on top of that in the corner (see diagram in PDF).  Students can then place the 1x1 either in the holes under the slab or in the regular slots in attempting to balance the assembled structure. Note to teacher: Assembled structure should balance with the 1x1 piece in location shown on diagram in PDF. 5. Students should then experiment with a variety of sizes and shapes, each time attempting to balance some unevenly distributed load.  The crazier the load, the harder it should be to balance, but it will push students to really understand the concept.  It may not be possible to perfectly balance some bizarre shapes or students may find they can only balance it with a 2x1 or a 2x2. URL to PDF file of this activity:

Lesson Learned: This activity explores the concept of 'center of mass.'  It gives students a hands-on, discovery-based way to understand one of the most fundamental concepts in physics.

Geography Challenge

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Melissa King, Home school

Using all the available LEGo bricks, students will build the shape of a state.  Several different geographic challenges can be presented depending on the age level and ability of the student.  For example: 1) Each student builds the shape of the state where they reside. (Early Elementary) 2) Each student builds the shape of a state they have visited or where a family member resides. (Upper Elementary) 3) Each student builds the shape of a state that borders the state where they reside. (Upper Elementary) 4) Each student builds the shape of a state  that starts with a certain letter. The teacher could say, "Build a state that starts with the letter C." (Secondary levels) These challenges could be done individually or in teams.

Lesson Learned: Students will learn how to recognize different states, especially the one they live in.

Calculating Perimeter and Area and Extending This to Construction Technology

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Kay Kraatz, OCM BOCES - McEvoy Campus

Materials:  LEGO Smart Kit (plates: 1-2x2, 1-2x3, 1-2x4, 1-2x6, 1-4x4; bricks: 1-1x1, 2-2x1, 3-2x2, 1-1x4, 1-1x6, 1-2x3, 2-2x4, 2-2x6, 1-2x8; angle- 1-1x 4); Architect's triangular scale. This activity requires students to find smallest and largest area using: plates: 1-2x2 cream LEGO base plate, 1-2x3 red LEGO base plate, 1-2x4 red LEGO base plate, 1-2x6 black LEGO base plate, 1-4x4 green LEGO base plate. Students will determine the scaled area for the smallest and largest area using the architect's scale  1" = 4'. Students will then calculate the amount of cubic yards of concrete to be ordered using the appropriate formula on the theory sheet, 4" thick slab. This activity requires students to find smallest and largest perimeter using:  bricks: 1-1x1 LEGO pink brick, 2-2x1 LEGO green and yellow brick, 3-2x2 LEGO yellow and orange bricks, 1-1x4 LEGO green brick, 1-1x6 LEGO blue brick, 1-2x3 LEGO grey brick, 2-2x4 LEGO orange and yellow bricks, 2-2x6 LEGO green and grey bricks, 1-2x8 LEGO blue brick. Students will determine the scaled perimeter for the smallest and largest perimeter using the architect's scale  1" = 4'. Students will then calculate the number of concrete blocks for one course using the appropriate formula on the theory sheet.  Then students will calculate the number of courses and concrete blocks if the foundation wall is to be 8' high. During class activity: The teacher reviews the definition of area and perimeter (the students will use the definitions in the activity to determine which formulas are necessary for the calculations). The teacher will also review how the Architect's Scale is utilized to determine the scaled measurements. Area: First the students configure the plates measure the area covered by the plates. Upon completing the first task, the students then measure a different configuration of the plates and determine the new area. Next the students are to scale the area using 1"=4'. Last the students calculate the amount of concrete to order for the scaled area of the concrete slab.  The slab is to be 4" thick.  The order is in cubic yards. Perimeter: First the students configure the bricks measure the perimeter of the bricks. Upon completing the first task, the students then measure a different configuration of the bricks and determine the new perimeter.  Next the students are to scale the perimeter using 1"=4'. Next the students calculate the number of concrete blocks to order for the first course of the foundation.   Last the students calculate the total number of concrete blocks to order if the foundation is to be 8' high.  The order is in number of blocks. Length(ft) x Width(ft) x Height(ft)  = Total Cubic feet Total Cubic Feet ÷ 27 = Total Cubic Yards 1 Block = 16" x  8" The actual measurements are 15 5/8" x  7 5/8" to allow for 3/8" of  mortar.  Determine the amount of block needed for one course. Find the perimeter of the house.  Multiply the perimeter by ¾.  (Each block is 16".)     Why?  divide by size of block (16" ....or 16/12' or 4/3')dividing by 4/3 is the same as x ¾ The answer is the amount of blocks needed for one course of blocks around the perimeter. Determine how many courses are needed. Convert the height to inches (because the block height is in inches).  8 feet times 12 = 96 inches. Take the height in inches and divide by 8 (inches for the height in each row).  96 divided by 8 = 12. The answer is the number of courses of blocks.  Therefore, we need 12 courses. Determine the total number of blocks. The number of blocks for one course  times the number of courses is 12.

Lesson Learned: Students will learn how to design a concrete slab and a foundation wall given a limited amount of materials for a best fit.

Build 2 gether

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By K Walker, Walker Christian Academy

1.  Put students in teams of 2 or 3.  2.  Give each an equal amount of bricks.  3.  Give them the name of something to build.  4.  Start with one student and each student gets to add 1 brick at a time trying to build the item you have named (like car or house).  5.  Students cannot talk or help or tell the others where to place their brick.  6.  Have each group share what they have managed to build.

Lesson Learned: Cooperation, inventiveness, team work, hand coordination

A Day Without...

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By LaJean Burnett, Webb Community Center

In this activity the class will be divided into teams of three to four students.  Discuss the importance of diversity and what the world would be life if all of us were the same.  Give each team a LEGO Smart Kit that will indicate that we will have to spend a full day without the inventions of African Americans. Each team will create a model of a day without some of these inventions or other contributions to society. Students will have to research to find some of these inventions  Construct a model using the LEGO Smart Kit based on your findings. Prepare a presentation that explains your model. Your presentation should include the following: Challenges that occurred while completing the activity Explanation of the components of their model A minimum of 5 inventions that were created by the specific diverse group What you gained from the experience Changes (if any) that will occur because of the experience    After the presentation the class will discuss whether or not the model was an adequate representation of what the group presented. What you gained from the experience Changes (if any) that will occur because of the experience   After the presentation the class will discuss whether or not the model was an adequate representation of what the group presented. Students will use inquiry-based learning, to design a model using, LEGO bricks. They will work in teams using knowledge gained from their research to construct a day without inventions that were created by various diversities (women, African Americans, Hispanics, Whites, and People with Disabilities). This activity can be used in a Humanities lesson on diversity; during specific holiday lessons, such as Black History Month or Hispanic Month; or during an English Composition unit that requires research. This hands-on activity that utilizes the methodology of modeling to engage the students allows them to address sometimes sensitive subject matters in a fun, yet thought-invoking manner. Possible Solutions: Table - use the 2 x 2, the 1 x 4, and the 2 x 4 bricks to make a table (note this can couple as a stove range top) Traffic light - use a 1 x 6 for the base, a 2 x 8 for the post, a red 2 x 3, yellow 2 x 1, and green 2 x 1 for the colors of the traffic light (If you have 2 x 1's in each color this will be easier) Drop mailbox  - 1 sloped piece for the drop box and a 2 x 6 for the post (note this can couple as a dust pan) Ironing board  - 1 square brick for the base and a thin rectangular brick for the top Refrigerator - Use plates for the front of the refrigerator. More effective if you use different colors and put a handle on it with a 1 x 1 brick

Lesson Learned: 1. Use inquiry to design a modal of a day without inventions by a specific ethnic group. 2. How to use reference materials and/or research topics using the internet 3. Gain a better understanding and respect for diversities 4. Communicate findings through methods that address various learning styles (tactile, visual, written, and oral)

Multiplication Masterpieces

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry

Multiplication is easy & fun with LEGO bricks as a tutor(especially for those dreading math class who would rather doodle)!  Learn multiplication by doubling & tripling, then look at the more artful side of math.  NOTE: The term "dots" will be used to describe the building surface circles on the bricks. Answers the students give are in (parentheses).  Start with Activity 1.  Activity 2 is a follow up application. ACTIVITY 1: Multiplication Interactive DEMONSTRATION of 2's or doubling (or skip counting by 2's) WHAT YOU'LL USE FOR THE FULL DEMO: GREEN 4 DOT, ORANGE 8 DOT, YELLOW 8 DOT, RED 8 DOT, BLUE 16 DOT, 2-YELLOW 4 DOT, WHITE 4 DOT, ORANGE 4 DOT. SAY: Find the green piece with 4 dots.  We're going to double this green 4 with a different piece.  Now find a red piece that is as long as that but twice as wide. The red piece shows that 2x4=8 & that 4x2=8.  You reach 8 when you have 2 rows of 4 or 4 rows of 2.  WRITE: 2x4=8  4x2=8 SAY: There are 2 more pieces that show this math fact.  What are they? (YELLOW 8 DOT & ORANGE 8 DOT) Line up the yellow & orange next to each other.  Which piece would fit on top of them both connecting & covering them completely? (BLUE 16 DOT) The blue piece shows that it is the same as 2 8-dot pieces.  It is double the 8-dot piece.  8x2=16 & 2x8=16  You can build to 16 with 8 rows of 2 or 2 rows of 8. WRITE: 8X2=16  2X8=16 SAY: You have 2 yellow squares, 1 orange square, and a flatter white one.  Cover the top of the blue (Blue 16 dot currently in play) with them.  Make sure all of the blue is covered. We haven't doubled anything; we've just covered up what we had.  But we used different sized pieces.  How many dots are on these new pieces?-4 The orange square has 4 dots; the white piece has 4 dots; and each of the yellow squares has 4 dots.  How many sets of 4 do we have? -4 With 4 sets of 4, we have the same number we had before-16.  We just counted to 16 differently.  We can get to 18 by counting 8 rows of 2, 2 rows of 8, or by counting 4 sets of 4. 4x4=16 WRITE: 4X4=16 FOR ADVANCED STUDENTS: Try 16x3/3x16, 6x8/8x6. FOR EVERYONE: ART CONNECT: SAY:  Architects are artists who use math all of the time in order to create designs for buildings.  Using the pieces you have now, be an architect & create a building.  Think outside the "block" & create something different.  Can you create a courtyard?  Does your building have more stories on one side than the other? Once you have your basic structure, use other pieces to embellish your design.   ACTIVITY 2: Multiplication APPLICATION of 2's or doubling as well as tripling (or skip counting by 2's & 3's) WHAT YOU'LL USE FOR THE FULL ACTIVITY: BLUE 6 DOT, BLACK 12 DOT, GREEN 12 DOT, GRAY 12 DOT, AND ANY 3-4 DOT PIECES SAY: Find the blue piece with 6 dots.  Now find the black piece that is as long as the blue one, but twice as wide or double the size. (More advanced students can be told once they have the blue piece to double it.) What is 6 doubled? -12 The black piece shows that when 6 is doubled, you get 12.  How many rows of 6 do we need to reach 12? -2 How many rows of 2 do we need to reach 12? -6  We can get to 12 by counting 2 rows of 6 or 6 rows of 2.   What math facts can we learn from this? (2x6=12 & 6x2=12)  WRITE: Have a student write the math facts 2x6=12 6x2=12 SAY: There are 2 more pieces that show those facts-2x6 & 6x2. What are they? (green 12 & gray 12) Put the green 12 & gray 12 together stacked on top of one another.  Now you've doubled 12.  What is the double of 12? -24 Which math facts have you just built? (2x12=24  & 12x2=24) WRITE: Have a student write the math facts 2X12=24  12X2=24.SAY: Add your black 12 piece to the top. Now you've done something we haven't done before.  You've just tripled the number.  Doubling is twice or 2 x the number.  It is like counting by 2's.  Tripling is like counting by 3's or giving 3 x the number. Which math problems did you just create? (3x12 & 12x3) Three pieces of 12 dots or 3x12.  This is the same as 12x3.  If we add 12 more to our original 24, what do we get? -36 So 12 tripled is...? -36 And  12x3 or 3x12 equals...? -36  WRITE: Have a student write the math facts on the board. 12x3=36  3x12=36 Have another student write the new terms & what they mean on the board: DOUBLE=X2  TRIPLE=X3 SAY: Use 3 pieces with 4 dots to cover the black 12 dot.  What does this show? (4x3=12  3x4=12  4 tripled =12) Now that you have doubled & tripled, what  other math facts can you build? FOR ADVANCED STUDENTS: Try representing 12x4/4x12 FOR EVERYONE:  ART CONNECT: (TEACHER NOTE: You may want to get some pictures, postcards, or a calendar of cubist paintings to show the class.) SAY: Some modern artists do a style of art called cubism. Picasso made cubism famous. Instead of making pictures look real, artists using cubism let strong shapes-one of the first things you learned in math-  represent real life things.  They saw something or someone in shapes & put these shapes together to represent that person or thing.  Think of a person or thing you can imagine as being made up of different squares & rectangles.  Now try to represent your person or thing with a Lego Sculpture.  If you are having a hard time starting, draw a picture of it.  Make it something simple-an apple instead of a bowl of fruit, a person's face instead of their entire body.  Then fill in the picture with the squares & rectangles that you can fit inside of it.  Using your drawing as a guide, build it.  Legos' multiple colors can be used to make different parts stand out.  You can also use Legos different thicknesses & sizes to also make one part stand out from another.  Stack part of it higher than the other  part to give it dimension.  Have fun!  If you don't like it, take it apart & try a different object.

Lesson Learned: multiplication (or simplify to skip counting for younger kids), seeing math translated differently by arrangement (ie- 3x4 is the same as 6x2), measurement,  using what is mathematical to do something artistic, inspire thinking of math-related artistic occupations or hobbies, can be used independently or with a partner to focus on teamwork, can be done in whole or part but best results & goals are met when used in whole even if over a few days

Oh Buoy! It Floats!

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Suzanne Risser, Learning Center

Build a boat/barge 1.  Use the plates to make a square bottom -- use the 2x8 on one side, the 2x6 on an adjoining side, the 2x3 AND the 2x2 on the next side adjoining the 2x6, then place the 2x4 in the middle next to the 2x6, last place the 4x4 in the remaining space 2.  Use the 2x8 brick offset off the edge to join the side with the 2x3 and 2x2 plates 3. Use a 2x6 brick to join the 2x8, 4x4, and 2x2 plates along the outside edge 4.  Use a 2x6 brick down the center to join the bottom plates in the center 5.  Use remaining brick to build up side -- can add some individual style on this step Introduce density concept   Activity: Density Why do objects that are the same size sometimes have different weights? The answer has to do with their density. An object's density is determined by comparing its mass to its volume. Use a flat piece of bread versus a balled up piece of bread to demonstrate. Now talk about displacement and buoyancy A ship (LEGO boat) will float as long as it weighs less than the water it pushes out of way, or displaces. Ships can use materials in their hulls that are heavier than water, but there must be air within the ship.  Since the air doesn't weigh as much as the water, this lowers the weight of the ship compared to the same volume of water. Try this experiment to see how trapping air in a ship can make it float. What happens if you fill up all of the empty space in the boat?

Lesson Learned: Explore the concept of buoyancy

LEGO Logic Rules

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry (AUGUST WINNER!)
By Cynthia House, Thomas Middle School

Each student or team of two or more students receives the bag of LEGO bricks and the following information: Each of the six students in Mrs. Reyes' class selected three bricks from the bag. Can you figure out which specific bricks each student chose? 1. All six students selected bricks shaped like rectangular prisms. 2. No student chose a decorated brick. 3. If Colin combined the colors of two of his bricks he'd get the color of his third brick. 4. The number of hubs on one of Colin's bricks is twice the number of hubs on one of his other bricks. 5. Ashley and Brent selected bricks that are all the same color. 6. The sum of the number of hubs on two of Ashley's bricks equals half the number of hubs on her third brick. 7. All the students except for Colin chose bricks that are all the same thickness. 8. Ethan's bricks can be arranged to form a four by six hub rectangle. 9. Darcy and Ethan chose at least one brick with hubs arranged in a square pattern. 10. The colors of Francisco's bricks are related to the United States Civil War." answers: Ashley- 3 green bricks, Brent- 3 yellow bricks, Colin- pink brick, white brick, 2x4 red brick Darcy-light green brick, black brick 2x3 red brick, all thin  Ethan- light gray brick, two orange bricks all thick, Francisco- two blue bricks, dark gray brick

Lesson Learned: Students use logic to solve the puzzle. Clues come from geometry, algebra, art, and U.S. history.

Horse and Plow

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Suzanne Risser, Learning Center

1. Use seven LEGO bricks (including the 2x2 with the eye) to build the horse. 2. Use remaining bricks/plates to build various styles of plows/farm implements. 3.  Discuss the history of farm machinery and its evolution 4.  Discuss the concept of horsepower

Lesson Learned: this will help tactile learners by illustrating agricultural history by building a horse and plow.  This lesson can also used as starting point to discuss "horsepower"

How Will It Stand?

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Ruth Anderson, Highland Elementary

The student will take his set of LEGO bricks and build a structure using the bricks with the largest amount of studs on bottom and end with the smallest amount of studs being the one on top.  Can you reverse the process and put the smallest on the bottom and the one with the most studs on top? Will it stand? Why or Why not?

Lesson Learned: The student will problem solve using his knowledge of greatest to least.

Can You Build It?

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Ruth Anderson, Highland Elementary

Hand out a set of LEGo bricks to one student.  Give an identical set to another student.  Put a divider between the two students so they can't see each others bricks.  One student will build a structure and describe to the other student what he has built by giving shapes, sizes and colors of the bricks.  The student tries to build the same structure with only the directions given by the builder. When the student is finished, they compare the structures to see if they are alike.

Lesson Learned: The students will learn to problem solve without seeing the manipulative's needed for the activity.  They will have to use their auditory skills and reasoning to solve the problem.

Cross the Colors

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Ruth Anderson, Highland Elementary

Stack or build a structure so that no 2 like colors are touching each other.  There is more than one possible solution.

Lesson Learned: The students will learn to problem solve by using a specific amount of LEGO bricks and given a specific task to complete.  This can be either a small group activity or in an individual setting.

Culture Fair Activity

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Joan Easterling, Mount Olive Elementary

This activity will coordinate with a school culture fair. In preparing for the activity, students will be divided into groups, select a country, and conduct research on this country. This will be completed prior to the introduction of this particular task. Culture Fair Activity: Design an animal, dwelling, or person associated with your designated country. Step 1: Students will work in groups using the information obtained from their search. Members of the group will choose a dwelling, person, or animal associated with their country and fashion it out of their LEGO Smart Kit. Step 2: Students will write a report describing the characteristics of the chosen artifact and how it is relative to their country. Both the LEGO model and the essay will be displayed at the culture fair.

Lesson Learned: Students will learn to research for information, apply what they have learned, and work collaboratively to achieve a common goal.

LEGO Flags

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Natalia and Matthew Dueholm, HOME SCHOOL

Make approximate flags (shape may differ from real flags) of different countries (with horizontal and vertical stripes). If you don't know many of them, use The World Encyclopedia of Flags or similar book.  After designing as many flags as possible, students can discuss what pieces are mixing to make more exact models.  What type of bricks do you need to make them perfect? Explore the flags with crosses. Make your own private flag. The teacher can introduce vexillology (the study of flags) and the principles of their design.

Lesson Learned: Vexillology, Geography, Principles of Flag Design


LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Natalia and Matthew Dueholm, HOME SCHOOL

Attribute a letter to eachLEGO brick color following the model below: Yellow: A, Red: B, Blue: C, Orange: D, Green: E, Lime Green: F, Grey: G, Dark Grey: H, Black: I, Pink: K, White: K Try to make the longest possible word. You can use the same letter as many times as you have the bricks.  (For example, if there are three bricks of a specific color, you could create a word using that letter up to 3 times.)

Lesson Learned: Abstract Thinking, Vowel-Consonant distribution in English words, Spelling, Code Building

Learning Together

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Anna Fleming, St. Patrick's School

Students are assigned to small groups and given a selection of LEGO bricks.  Their job is to work together to make a space ship, a building, a toy, a tool and something they choose. One topic is given each day.  When the creations are complete, photos will be taken for an album record of results. The object is for the students to work cooperatively and to problem solve how to best use the Lego bricks to make the creations.

Lesson Learned: Students learn to work cooperatively in small groups.

LEGO Packer

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Natalia and Matthew Dueholm, HOME SCHOOL

What size/shape/type of container should you use to put all the pieces inside?  The challenge is to fit the pieces in as small a container as possible.  How would you estimate this? How would you put the pieces there?

Lesson Learned: Economy of space/spatial reasoning


LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By MIchelle kadow, Stockton baptist school

Objects are broken up, analyzed, and re-assembled.

Lesson Learned: abstracted form-instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context.

Life In Europe During the Middle Ages

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Tanielle Kazmierczak, Power Ranch Elementary School

As a culminating activity to their Middle Ages unit, students will use the LEGO Smart Kit to create their own castle similar to ones they researched on the internet.  Their castles must contain at least one tower and a stable for the royalty's horses.  Students will place their castles on a piece of cardboard and draw the landscape to their castles.  Students can design a coat of arms for their castles.  They can also use two dowels and paper to create a scroll listing all of the rules for their castle.

Lesson Learned: Students will practice working as a team to complete a project.  They will use technology skills and hand-eye coordination to complete this project.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Moriah Slagell, One Day at A Time

1. I built a small caterpillar with just a few LEGO bricks to represent food 2. I added more bricks to the caterpillar and more food in front of him.(repeat 3 times) 3. Then, I took part of the caterpillar apart so I could build a cocoon then I slid the  caterpillar inside. 4. Finally, I took apart the caterpillar and cocoon and made a butterfly out of the bricks.

Lesson Learned: This quarter, I am learning about insect life. Using Eric Carle's book for inspiration, I did a series of designs to show the life cycle of the caterpillar's metamorphosis into a butterfly.


LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Mabel Martinez, Florida City Elementary/Miami Dade Public Schools

 1. Distribute the same amount of LEGo bricks to each student (Lego Smart Kit).  Make students aware that all pieces do not have to be used.  2. Have each student create an object. 3. Have student create a name for their object.     4. When students complete constructing their figure, have students write out a descriptive step by step paragraph in how they made their figure.   5. The students must name the size, color, and shape of the bricks and the amount of bricks that were used to create their figure. 6.  Have students share and give constructive criticism on their piece of writing. Also have students show their piece of art!

Lesson Learned: Students learned not only what an adjective is, but how to use it in their writing prompt.

Serving Sizes

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Diane Babin

Students may work alone or with a partner for this activity. Provide students with a package of LEGO bricks. Their assignment is choose a favorite food then to build a model of the serving size recommended by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) for that food. For example: The USDA recommends no more than 3 oz. of meat be eaten at a meal. 3 oz. of meat is approximately the size of a deck of cards. Students would choose the type of meat they want to represent then choose the LEGO bricks that, when put together, would equal the size of a deck of cards. Once the model has been completed students will create a simple sign explaining the food they chose, and the serving measurement for that food (3 oz., 1/2 cup, 1 tsp.). Students will display their LEGO models for the class to view. Actual serving sizes for the foods chosen or simulated models of food would further enhance the students' understanding of serving sizes.

Lesson Learned: Students will view a visual representation of approximate serving sizes for various foods. These serving sizes are recommended by the USDA. They will also utilize their decision making skills and improve their spatial reasoning skills in selecting the LEGO bricks to use and designing a product that is the correct serving size. If they are working with a partner they will improve their communication skills as well.

Rainbow Building

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Joann Franklin, home school/our lady of fatima

Put all LEGO bricks (bigger pieces) in a pile on the floor ..can do in teams or individual(maximum 4) each team/person is assigned a color ....then they pick out all the bricks of that color and create something...can do a show and tell describing their particular creation

Lesson Learned: geared toward preschool and/or special needs children.....promotes color learning, working with others, creative thinking, spacial skills,  verbal skills,to name a few...

Look. Relay. Build.

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Wendy Klein

*Create a design using the LEGo bricks. *Break the students up into equal teams that consist of: looker, builder, parts, relay. *Put the design in a location that only the looker of the team can see.  The looker can see the design, but cannot speak.  He/she cannot come within a predetermined distance of the parts table (ex. 5 feet) *The relay person deciphers what the looker tries to explain through motions and pointing and takes that information to the parts person.(no writing notes) *The parts person is the only person allowed to touch the parts besides the builder.  The relayer will describe what he/she thinks the looker is saying verbally and by pointing to parts. *The parts person picks up the necessary parts (size and quantity) and takes them to the builder. *The builder puts the pieces together per what the relayer describes from the motions of the looker. *After the time is up.  Bring out the model for the students to judge who got the closest.

Lesson Learned: communication

Measuring Density

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Denise Thompson, Orting High School

Step 1:  Have students construct a 4 X 6 table and label the columns "diagram, mass, volume, density".  Step 2: Using a single LEGO brick, model for students how to measure the mass and calculate the volume of a cube. (This step may or may not be recorded as data) Step 3:  Have students select a different sized brick and draw a diagram of the brick in the first box.  Repeat step 2, recording their data in the appropriate boxes on the table. Step 4:  Calculate the density by dividing the mass by the volume and record in the last column on the table. Step 5:  Students should repeat steps 3 and 4 picking a different sized or shaped brick each time until they have tested 5 different bricks.  More advanced students can combine bricks to add complexity. Step 6:  Students should graph the mass on the Y axis and the volume on the X axis and then describe what patterns they see to the data.  Have students draw a trend line and calculate its slope. If completed accurately, the points should form a "line" and the slope of the line should be roughly equivalent to the calculated density of a brick regardless of its color, shape or size.

Lesson Learned: Students will practice calculating the volume of a cube, measuring the mass of an object and calculating its density. Students will practice graphing data, analyzing it for patterns and calculating the slope of a line. Students will understand that density is a property of the material an object is constructed of not the size or shape of an object.

2D to 3D to 2D Design

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Nancy Gonzalez, Hispanic Home schoolers

Pre-activity - Draw each of the bricks in the LEGO Smart Kit on construction paper (with correct perspective and color match).  Cut out each construction paper block. Materials - For each 2 student team, provide a LEGO Smart Kit, as well as a complete set of construction paper cutout bricks. Activity 1- Ask one student to put together the 2D construction paper cutouts together to form a drawing of a shape to be built by the second student in the team.  The second student will have 15 minutes to translate the cutout drawing into a 3D object using the bricks from the Smart Kit. Activity 2 - Ask one student to build a 3D object using the bricks from the Smart Kit.  Give the second student the cutout drawings.  The second student will have 15 minutes to translate the 3D object of bricks into a 2D drawing using the cutouts.

Lesson Learned: translation of 2D designs to 3D and back to 2D design

Build Our Community

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Mary Brodeur, 4 Seasons Academy

Place all LEGO bricks on a table and instruct students to each choose which building they would like to construct, ie..Firestation, police station, market, etc... All students must work together to build the hospital.

Lesson Learned: They will learn to work together in order to achieve the same common goal.

Treasure Hunt

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Shawn Garzony

Everyone loves treasure hunting.  Using LEGO bricks to complete this activity, makes it even better.  Make an "x" using 2 long bricks (red is preferred, but any color can be used.) Lego Smart kits may be used for this activity.  The treasure "map" searching begins with a clue (such as: To locate the treasure solve this clue: Beside a ------, you will find 1+2). The next rhyming clue will be left next to or on the designated tree. You may wish to leave bricks at each place to collect along the way.  (more clue examples: 2+2 will help you more when mom says "Please close the -----!", or A bag of 3+3 tricks has been left by the row of----- (bricks). All the clues do not need to use math facts.  Place clues in sequence leading back to the classroom.  The last clue will lead the students back into the classroom where they find the "x" and a lovely group of Legos to build with.  Allow students as much time as possible to enjoy being creative with the bricks.

Lesson Learned: This activity encourages team building skills, communication, adding and problem solving for elementary students.

Multiplication Art

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Trish Dunlap, Home school

Each LEGO brick is worth 5 points. Students must independently build something of their own creation with their bricks with a value of 100. They must count the bricks themselves to figure out how many they need to use. If they use too few or too many, points will be taken off. They must also explain what their creation is.

Lesson Learned: Problem solving skills, creativity, hand-eye coordination, math.


LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Julie Dees, Home school

Using grid paper, have students draw a simple picture with colored pencils.  Next have them duplicate their picture on a base plate using the LEGO bricks of the same color as their picture.

Lesson Learned: Students use LEGO bricks to express visual ideas and learn to think artistically.

Mosaics 2

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Julie Dees, Home school

Using grid paper, have students draw a simple picture with colored pencils.  Next have them duplicate their picture on a base plate using the LEGO bricks of the same color as their picture.

Lesson Learned: Students use LEGO bricks to express visual ideas and learn to think artistically.

Estimation Man

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Isabel  Lee, Elysian Heights

The pair student line up the LEGO bricks vertically.  They look at each brick and they try to estimate how long (inches or centimeters) each brick is and write it on math worksheet. Between each other they will explain the reason for the estimated measurement.  Next, they get a ruler and measure each brick.

Lesson Learned: The students will learn estimation, counting and communication.

Listen Up!

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Isabel  Lee, Elysian Heights

One student sits on one side of the table and the other student on the other side.  There is a board between the two students.  The first student gets the LEGO bricks, while the other student has copies of the bricks.  The first student will build something vertically with the bricks.  Then the student will give his partner directions (using position words) to build the same thing on their side.  Then they check to see if the partner's bricks build the same thing.  They reverse roles.

Lesson Learned: They learn through this activity listening, follow directions and communication skills.

Grid Me

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Isabel  Lee, Elysian Heights

The students work in pairs.  Then they get a grid paper.  Next the students place the different LEGO bricks on various spots on the grid. Next, they trace the grid size of each brick.  The children take turns counting how many squares in a grid did each brick use.  Then they finish writing the amount, they color in each grid that the LEGO brick took up. While this group coloring in another pair takes the LEGO bricks and they repeat the process. After each paired group finishes they present their results to the other students.

Lesson Learned: The children will learn to measure each LEGO brick using a grid, hand-eye coordination and communication.

Balanced Tower

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Stephen Tueller, JnS Education

Give each student (or team of students) a LEGO Smart Kit. Do activities 1-3 (5 and 6 are optional). Additional instructions for older students are given in parentheses (). [1] Using the pink 1x1x1 brick and the blue 2x8x1 brick, find the balance point. When the pink brick is connected under the blue brick, the balance point is found when the blue brick can stand on the pink brick without the 'tower' tipping over. Even when the balance point is found, some hand-eye coordination is needed to stand the tower on the pink brick. [2] Get two additional bricks of the same size. Place them at different locations on the blue brick. Notice that the tower will generally not balance if bricks of the same size are placed at different locations. (For older students, discuss location in terms of the arm length of a lever, and brick size in terms of weight.) [3] Remove the two additional bricks of the same size. Get two additional bricks of different sizes. Places the bricks at different locations on top of the blue brick. And find locations that lead to a tower that balances on the pink brick. (For older students, you can discuss how arm length can compensate for different weights. For geometry students, you can review the equations for arm length and weight.) [3.1] Sub-activity - see how many different combinations of the bricks in [3] lead to balanced tower. [4] Have students or teams of students attempt to attach all the remaining pieces to the blue brick in a weight that the tower balances. Notice which approaches use the bricks in the most uniform manner on each side (i.e., similar arm lengths and weights), and which approaches uses bricks the least uniform manner (i.e., compensating arm lengths and weights). You may also challenge students to take aesthetic presentation into account. [5] Challenge students to build balances with other combinations of bricks. For example, they might fit a flat brick vertically between the knobs of another brick, and build the balance tower with the knobs down which requires greater hand-eye coordination.

Lesson Learned: This activity exposes students to the idea of physical balance using different combinations of arm lengths and weights. The activity requires hand-eye coordination, creativity, and can be done in individual or team settings. The activity can be used for students of various ages.

Power Tower Bricks

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Grace Finn, Field-Stevenson School

Students will learn the first hand the "Power of Two"  To begin with we will look at a chessboard and imagine that my salary will be 1 penny for the first week and 2 pennies the second week, then 4 pennies, and 8 and 16, etc.  Ask students if they think if this would be a good idea?  (Just about every student will tell me "No!")  When I tell them that by the end of the 64 weeks (there are 64 squares on the chessboard) I will have more money than there is money in the world - they still cannot believe it.  Taking the idea to a whole new level we will build a building in binary. Materials: Multiple sets of the LEGO Smart kit. Procedure: 1.  Discuss the powers of two and the chessboard example above.  Review binary numbers 1, 2 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 356, etc. 2.  Start with a group setting out a 1-stud brick and placing it on a 2-stud, placing them on a 4-stud and then on an 8-stud brick, and so on.  3.  Students will need to work together carefully as their towering building as it continues to grow. 4.  Continue adding levels (each level is 1 brick in height) until all bricks are gone. 5.  Make observations: The area of the tower is expanding rapidly. Determine the power of 2 achieved using all bricks. Predict how soon (if there were enough bricks) the building would expand to fill the  entire classroom floor, the school, the block and the town.

Lesson Learned: Students will learn the first hand the "Power of Two"

LEGO Classification

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Wendi Haines

Each group of students receives a LEGO Smart Kit (without the slanted "roof" piece). The group is to classify the bricks into groups according to characteristics. Each group decides what characteristics they will use, such as color, size, shape, etc. The group will explain to the class how they chose to classify their bricks. The teacher will then give the group the slanted "roof" brick and ask the group to decide what LEGO group the brick will be classified with. The group will use their classification system to determine where the brick will go; color, shape, size, etc. The group will explain why they chose to put the brick with that classfied group.

Lesson Learned: Classification of objects (Science Benchmark - Know that living things have diverse forms, structures, functions, and habitats. (classifying plants/animals according to different characteristics)

Balancing Act

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Susan Beam

Students choose the smallest LEGO brick as their base and place it on a flat surface (table).  They proceed to stack the remaining bricks on top of the base. All bricks must be used.  This activity can be done individually as a time challenge or as pairs racing each other to complete the balanced structure first.

Lesson Learned: Students learn how shape, size and weight influence a structure's ability to remain erect as more pieces are added.  They also learn that there is more than one solution to the activity.

LEGO Guess

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By K Walker, Walker Christian Academy

This activity is based on games like Pictionary or Charades.  One student gets the name of an object to build and he does using the bricks in the kit.  The other student get to try and guess what he is building.  The builder cannot give clues.  The child who guesses gets the next turn to build.

Lesson Learned: Visual skills, team work, turn taking, sharing.

Basic Spelling

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Suzanne Risser, Learning Center

To spell "leg" 1.  Use one 2x8 brick and 2x6 brick to make an "L" 2.  Use one 1x6 brick, two 2x4 bricks, and one one 1x4 brick to make the "E" 3.  Use one 2x6 brick , one 2x6 plate, one 2x4 plate, one 2x3 plate, and one 1 x2 brick to make the "G"

Lesson Learned: For K/1 basic spelling -- use the various bricks to build letters to spell simple words -- ie "leg".

LEGO Floor Plan

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Natalia and Matthew Dueholm, HOME SCHOOL

Draw a map with pencil of your bedroom, drawing walls and marking the door and windows.  Add LEGO furniture to your bedroom using different bricks, for example, use a flat brick for carpet, higher bricks for beds and tables, etc.  Try to keep real proportions.  Children may then rearrange furniture.

Lesson Learned: Interior Planning, Space Efficiency, Interior Design

Is It Even or Odd?

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Ruth Anderson, Highland Elementary

Put all of the LEGO bricks on the desk.  Separate the bricks in piles of even and odd according to the number of studs on the brick.  Which has the most?

Lesson Learned: The student will use his knowledge of odd and even numbers to separate the LEGO bricks.

Solid Building

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Natalia and Matthew  Dueholm, HOME SCHOOL

Make two solids out of at least two bricks (not necessarily of the same type): the second twice as big as the first.  How do you know that one is twice as big as the other? How many different solids can you make?  Name them.

Lesson Learned: Proportions, Surface Area, Multiplication

Learning Patterns

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Anna Fleming, St. Patrick's School

this will build the students' visual perception skills and strengthen beginning math skills. Students will each be given a bag of mixed color LEGO bricks and be tasked with creating a pattern based on the model given.  Each day for a week the students will have a different pattern task for their morning work.

Lesson Learned: Children will learn simple patterns (AB, ABC, AAB, ABB, ABCD, etc)

What Can You Invent?

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Mrs. Fonte's 1st grade class Fonte, St. John Greek Orthodox Day School

We first read books about famous child inventors. (The best was: Marvelous Mattie - How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor.) Next, we discussed how the people came up with their inventions. (Why did they need to invent something) Then, the students came up with their own inventions. Last, they presented their inventions to the class and explained what it was, why it is necessary, how it works, etc.

Lesson Learned: thinking out of "the box", communicating ideas with others

Will It Float?

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Terry ODaniel

Using all the LEGO bricks, create a structure of your choice that you think will float. Test your creation in a pan or sink filled with water? Did it float? If not, how could you change your creation so that it will float? What did you alter and how did it affect the  buoyancy of your creation to help it to float?

Lesson Learned: What causes a structure to float or sink? Learn concepts of buoyancy, density, how an object displaces water.

How Does A Tree Grow?

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Daniel  Slagell

The small pink brick represents the seed.. Next structure had the "tree" with only a few bricks added, the next added more bricks and so on until all bricks had been used.

Lesson Learned: Using the bag of bricks sent, I did a series of "structures" to demonstrate the growth of a tree.


LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Alyce Miller

1. Sort the LEGO bricks by color 2. Sort the bricks by size 3. sort the bricks by shape

Lesson Learned: Kindergarten Math: They learn how to sort based on color, size, or shape

Gestalt Laws Build

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Sandra Stauffer, Arizona State University

After reviewing class readings about Gestalt psychology, we listed various Gestalt psychology laws. We divided our class of 21 into four groups. Each group was given a tub of LEGo bricks (about 400 per tub). Each group had to use the bricks to illustrate as many of the Gestalt psychology laws as possible.  We gave them about 10 minutes.  They could build, arrange, place, etc.   After the "build" time, each group had to visit the other constructions and identify the laws, which were confirmed by the builders.  We then formed new groups, and repeated the laws, but this time asking them to eliminate color as the dominant element used to illustrate the Gestalt law.  As before, after a 10-minute build, the groups rotated around to identify the laws illustrated by others. Great thinking and discussion.

Lesson Learned: This "lesson" was an activity in a university music psychology class.  Part of the semester includes a review of various theories.  We used LEGO bricks to illustrate Gestalt psychology laws.  Lessons Learned: ò applications of Gestalt psychology lawsò communication and work with others

Seattle LEGO Needle

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Zechariah Roberson, Roberson Academy

The Seattle Space Needle collapsed! A museum wants a replica and they need someone to build one!  Are you up for the challenge? 1.  Get your 4x4 plate and your 1x1 brick from your LEGO Smart Kit. 2.  Place your 1x1 brick under the 4x4 plate in the middle hole. 3.  use all the bricks in your kit and build a creation that will balance on step 1's base. 3.  use all the bricks in your kit and build a creation that will balance on step 1's base. 5.  Take some pictures and send to the museum for entry (just joking!).  Have fun.

Lesson Learned: Learning to balance and engineering skills.

If You Build It They Will Come

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Valorene Young, Ashley Elementary School

As a Post activity to conclude our study of shape and an intro into global home/community studies my students build LEGO structure of a rural, urban and surburan community. Students will be divided into three groups they will design their community. Keeping in mind that they will label the shapes they are creating as they draw their community.Students will then proceed to build their community guided by their design.  They will also need people, vehicles, animals for the rural areas, sand for land areas and street signs.  The last step in the completion of the project will be a oral presentation by the group describing their community and the shapes they created.

Lesson Learned: A major part of first grade standard course of study is the study of shapes and how we can use different shapes to make structures.

Draw Your Creation

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Debbie Fulkerson, Hodges Manor Elementary

The students will get in groups of 3-4, discuss what they will build (a forest, building,people,etc) then they have 2 class periods to build it.  when they are done building it they will have 2 class periods to draw it and then color it.

Lesson Learned: In teams of 3-4 children, they will have 2 classes to build their creation and then draw it

Fair and Square

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Linda Kliewer, Home school

Object of the game:  Form the perimeter of a square, then fill it in as much as possible in the alloted time. 1. Divide students into teams of two, and give each team a LEGO Smart Kit.  2.  With each teammate sitting across from each other, take the two 1x2 bricks and put them about a foot apart, as if they were the ends of a straight horizontal line.  Remove the remaining bricks from the bag and hold them above the invisible line.  Drop them so they scatter on both sides of the line. The bricks on the side of the line closest to either of the team members will be the ones each teammate uses.  If the amount is uneven, the player with more bricks selects a random brick to give to the other one.  Each one gets one of the 1x2's.  3. Each team member has one minute to try to form a 2-dimensional solid square, using as many bricks as they can.  The perimeter must be formed first, then attempt to fill in with the remaining bricks. 4. At the end of one minute, count the number of studs that are on the unused bricks (the black slanted brick counts as eight dots), then count the number of studs that you still need to complete a solid square.  Add them together, then add your total to your teammate's total.  The sum is your team's score.  Whichever team has the lowest score is the winner. You may not help your teammate, nor place bricks on top of each other.

Lesson Learned: Students will learn about defining a square, the difference between perimeter and area, and forming a square from other shapes.  Students also learn to work as a team.

Reconstruction by Memory

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Jenny Orlich, AtHisFeet Home school

This is fun for one or more students. Have identical sets of LEGO bricks- one for the model maker and one for each of the reconstructors. The model maker builds a creation using any number of LEGO bricks. The complexity will depend on the ability of the students and can be assessed in real time as you do the project several times.  The students do not watch the creation being built.  The builder shows the students the creation for some period of time, for example, 20 seconds. Then the creation is hidden and the students try to recreate it exactly, from memory.  You can set up small walls between the students in order for them to do it independently.  Or, you may have them work as a team to build it. In that case, you may make a more complicated creation and have the students make a plan in advance on how they want to share the memorizing task (in the same way that two people might share memorizing a phone number - one person remembers the first three numbers and the other person remembers the last four).  

Lesson Learned: Students will practice attention to detail, intense short term memory skills, visual memory, and team memory planning during this LEGO activity.

Apollo LEGO

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Margaret Augustinsky

1. Bring in an empty paper towel roll or grab a cardboard toilet paper roll from the school bathroom to use to test the end products for students. 2. Place students into groups of 3 (mix ability levels within groups). Provide one LEGO set per group of students.  3. Announce "Houston, we have a problem." Turn the lights off. Explain to students that they are within a spacecraft in outer space (for a younger audience, say that they are in the command center and have to get their astronauts down, as the students might not understand and become scared). Their air is being sucked out of a round hole (show tube). 4. They have 30 minutes (or any time the teacher designates) to build out of the LEGO sets a device that will stop the air from escaping. In addition to the bricks, they have anything on their bodies or that they can see within the classroom. 5. After students come up with their devices, test them on the tube, by either blowing through the tube or placing the device in front of a vent/fan. If no air goes through, the students solved the problem. 6. Provide support to groups as needed, taking pictures throughout the entire process to document learning. 7. Ask each group to talk about what they did and why. Groups that finish early can draw pictures of their devices or offer support to other teams. 8. Explain to the students that in real life, Apollo 13 crew members had to fit a square peg into a round hole in order to get back to earth. The crew used socks and duct tape, but if they had had LEGO bricks, I bet they would have solved more!

Lesson Learned: Students learn practical problem solving skills, cooperation, and history.

Visually Complementing History

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Julie Dees, Home school

The students will build a structure they learned about in their history class while the teacher summarizes or expounds on their history studies.Possible structures include: 1.  Ancient Egypt - a Pyramid, the Sphinx 2.  Ancient Babylon - a Ziggurat 3.  Ancient Greece - a Temple 4.  Ancient Rome - an Aqueduct, the Colosseum 5.  Ancient China - the Great Wall 6.  Ancient Americas - Mayan structures 7.  Middle Ages - a Castle, a Cathedral 8.  Westward Expansion - a fort, Native American Tepee 9.  History of Flight - Wright Brothers Plane If some of the structures are more complex students could divide into groups and combine their kits.  This would also teach team work principles.

Lesson Learned: Visual learners usually find that information "clicks" when it is explained with the aid of a chart or picture.  By using LEGO bricks to build a "picture" of what they are studying it will enhance their memory.


LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Shawn Garzony

This game is designed with preschool through 3rd grade students in mind.  It can be played with multiple grade levels together or individual levels.  It is also fun for 4th-6th grade if used as a transition game between their already scheduled assignments. One LEGO Smart Kit per every 2-3 students.  The teacher hides the individual LEGO bricks around the room while the children are not present. (a monitor may be chosen to stand with the children in the hallway while the pieces are hidden OR the children may wait in a different room if this is done at home) The students are explained the rules: All objects can be seen without touching or moving anything in the room. Go over any safety rules that apply to the group such as "only walking", etc.  Each time a brick is found, the student may pick it up and say "I love LEGO bricks" (or any other short fun phrase).  When a student finds a second brick, that student needs to attach it to the first one (so they do not drop their collection and allow other students time to find pieces).  The game continues until all the LEGO bricks have been found.  When all the bricks are found, each student will use their imagination to construct an object or character.  After the building is completed, each student will take a turn to announce to the class how many pieces they collected and what they have designed.  For example, they may begin by saying "I found -- bricks and I designed ----". Older student version: Follow hide and seek procedures.  Give the students extra time and paper and pencil to record the number of LEGO studson each bricks they collected and add the total together.   They will continue with the designing stage as well as orally telling the class how many pieces they had, the total number of studs and what they have designed.  

Lesson Learned: The students will use thinking skills, eye hand coordination, counting and communication skills.

LEGO Sorting Center

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Alicia  Hunter, Marlington Local Schools

Students will use problem solving strategies to sort their LEGO bricks into groups of alike and different. 1.  Students will receive a group of bricks when coming to the LEGO sorting center.  2.  Students will be instructed to sort their group of bricks into two groups using all of their bricks.  (For example they can sort the bricks by red and not red, four studs and not four studs etc.) 3.  Students will explain to an adult how they sorted their group of bricks. 4.  If time allows, students will be encouraged to find more ways to sort their same group of bricks.

Lesson Learned: Students will learn how to classify LEGO bricks into  groups that are alike and different and explain how their lego groups are alike and different. Students will use problem solving strategies to sort their legos into groups of alike and different.

Classifying Creators with LEGO

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Harriette Mathews, Hall of Literary Glory

1. Using only the pieces in the LEGO Smart Kit, build an animal to represent 13 classes of the animal kingdom (vertebrates and invertebrates). 2. Take a photo of each and list animals by class, including common name and scientific name. 3. Explain why each represents its class. 4. Tell what you learned from this activity.

Lesson Learned: basic taxonomy, scientific classification of animals, lateral thinking, research skills, time management, problem-solving skills, perseverance.

Create a New Species of Bird

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Lydia Weiselberg, PS 118

After teaching a unit on birds have students work in pairs to create a new species of a bird. Give each pair of students a bag of LEGO bricks and instruct them that they have 15 minutes to create a new kind of bird.  Tell them they should think about the different characteristics a bird has.  Maybe their bird will have three wings or four legs, its up to their imagination and creativity to come up with their ideas.

Lesson Learned: team building, hand-eye coordination, communication skills, and where can their imagination that them.

Filler Up

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Angel Tudor, Whitehall Jr Sr High School

Materials: 66 LEGO bricks of equal size, *six containers of specified size, six shoe boxes, six graduated cylinders, one gallon of water, six metric rulers, and one digital balance * You will need to build six prisms of varying size prior to the students performing the lab. Build a prism using 4 bricks, then one using 6 bricks, then one using 8 bricks, then one using 12 bricks, then one using 16 bricks, and finally one using 20 bricks. Take the length, height and width measurement of each prism. Next, find six containers with corresponding measurements. Keep in mind that these containers will have to hold water. You can order prism containers from Nasco. You will also want to prepare the lab kits for the teams prior to the lesson. In each shoe box place the designated number of LEGO bricks and its corresponding container, a metric ruler, and a graduated cylinder.

Lesson: Start off the lesson by describing to students the various types of products  container manufacturer companies produce. Pose the question, " How do these companies decide the dimensions for a new container?". Once students have completed their responses, explain to them that they will be performing an experiment to find out how the relationship between length, mass, and volume measurements might help container manufacturer companies decide the dimensions for a new container. Then illustrate the relationship between length, mass, and volume measurements. Be sure to give examples and work out math problems. Be sure to include that the volume of a rectangular prism is equal to length times width times height. Also be sure to review that 1 milliliter of water weighs 1 gram and that 1 cubic centimeter is equal to 1 milliliter. Next split up the class into six teams. Give each team a shoe box lab kit. Be sure to remind the students that they should be collecting data during this lab. They should draw pictures of their LEGO prisms and record measurements in centimeters. In the first part of the lab, have students build their rectangular prisms; measure it's height, length, and width; and calculate its volume.  In the second part of the lab have the students use their graduated cylinder to fill the corresponding size container in their lab kit. Be sure to remind the students to record how many milliliters their container holds. In part three of the lab, have the students use a digital balance to find the mass of their dry, empty, corresponding size container in grams. Again remind students to record their measurements. Then have the students fill the container with water and find the filled containers mass in grams. Finally, have the students calculate the mass of the water by subtracting the weight of the empty container from the weight of the filled container. oughly dry their container once they are done.  In part four have each team write up the results of their experiment. Their write up should contain the purpose of the lab, materials used, procedures, data collected, and a conclusion. Remind student that their conclusion should state the relationship between length, mass, and volume measurements and whether or not their lab findings proved if in fact the relationship exists or not.

Lesson Learned: This activity will illustrate the relationship between length, mass, and volume measurements. Students will learn new mathematical knowledge and team building skills through a problem-solving lab. They will learn about the scientific method and apply it to proving the relationship between length, mass, and volume measurements. They will learn to apply and adapt a variety of appropriate problem solving strategies. To communicate their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly through written and oral presentation to their peers, teachers, and others. To apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurement. Learn how to convert between units of length, mass, and volume in the metric system. Along with reinforcing their writing and keyboarding skills.

Build A Store

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Jessica LaVigna

First choose the pieces you want to include in your grocery store. These pieces may later be changed to congruent or similar pieces according to sizes differences and preference. However, they must all be included in some way. Second, measure the length of your store and find pieces that will let you build the walls of your store. You will not be adding a roof so as to be able to see the inside of the store from above. Third, add a door and windows wherever you want, but there must be access to the outside from inside of the store. Fourth, estimate to build at least 2 of the following items to include inside your store. They must all fit within the store, so make them as close to scale as possible. The items include: a cash register, a front office area, a deli, a floral department, and/or a meat department. You can also add a different department relative to a grocery store. Lastly, use special pieces to construct people shopping at your store.

Lesson Learned: students will build a model store using LEGO bricks to measure, estimate, and compare congruent/ similar figures.


LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Rebecca Woodcock, Sullivan Middle School

Have students remove all the bricks from their LEGO Smart Kits. Explain that there are many different ways to sort items and ideas into categories.  Have students come up with as many categories as they can using all of the separate bricks in their kits.  For example, most students will easily sort by colors, sizes, etc. Encourage higher-level thinking by suggesting categories such as total area (bricks that are 1x6 have the same area as those that are 2x3).  Then, challenge students to construct figures that can then be sorted into categories.  For example, rectangular solids, similar shapes, etc.  In all categorizing, have students keep written logs of all the different categories they generate. Finally, have students write a summary of the experience and how categorizing can be useful in other areas.

Lesson Learned: Students will practice categorizing and written expression.

Isometric LEGO Structures

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Rebecca Woodcock, Sullivan Middle School

After instructing students to examine the bricks in their LEGO Smart Kit, build a simple object on the light green base as an example.  Then, using isometric paper on the smartboard, show students how this shape would transfer into an isometric drawing, making sure to display the top, front and side of the object.  Then, have students build their own object on their light green base and transfer it onto their own isometric paper.  Once students have mastered a simple object, challenge them to build more complex structures to transfer.  Next, display an isometric drawing on the smartboard (or distribute on paper to each student) and have students attempt to build the object shown.  After several attempts at a variety of shapes, have students write a summary of the activity, addressing issues such as: Was it more difficult to draw the object or build the object?  Was it difficult or easy for you to see the drawing as a 3-dimensional object?  This is a good way for students to assess their own competency.

Lesson Learned: Students will develop skills in the following areas: hand-eye coordination, transferring 3-dimensional objects to 2-dimensional drawings, transferring 2-dimensional drawings to 3-dimensional objects, and self-assessment.

Attributes of 3D shapes

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Evelyn Lolis, Great Neck Public Schools

After whole class lesson identifying attributes of 3D shapes (focus on prisms and pyramids), students are then partnered and given LEGO bricks. Students construct a 3D shape and then describe its attributes on an index card. Team shapes are then to be used as center activities for other classmates to identify, as well as indicate shape attributes.

Lesson Learned: Identify attributes of three dimensional shapes: Vertices, faces, edges, team building skills, modeling their learning

LEGO Multiplication

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Holly Doe, Pelham Elementary School

1.Before beginning the lesson students will need a copy of a complete multiplication fact grid and colored pencils. Create one larger grid on posterboard that has the same amount of columns and rows (12x13) but leave it empty for placement of LEGO bricks later. For an example of a multiplication grid visit: 2. Discuss what an array is and how an array like the 4 x4 LEGO plate in the set has sixteen studs and can represent the multiplication fact of 4 times 4. Also mention that in "LEGO language" the plate is described as a 4 by 4 plate. 3. Pass out the LEGO Smart Kits to individuals or small groups of students and have them identify the arrays represented by the bricks in the kit. On their multiplication grids have them color in the corresponding fact with the color of the brick. Once students have completed this task, have the group combine their bricks to see how many arrays they can create when the bricks are placed side by side.4. Using a larger set of bricks, assign groups a set of multiplication facts such as the 1 times facts or the 2 times. Once they have found all of the bricks to represent the arrays, have students bring their briks up to the larger class grid and lay the bricks into their appropriate spots. 5. Debrief. Were the students able to find all of the combinations of arrays? Did they have to combine multiple bricks to come up with some of the solutions. How could understanding arrays help when we use bricks other times in class?

Lesson Learned: Using LEGO bricks as a manipulative for multiplication, students will have a concrete understanding of multiplication and work on mastering their multiplication facts. Through the multiplication grids, students can also look for patterns.

See Saw 2

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Laura Ringsmuth, home school

The student will count studs on LEGo bricks and add them together. The flat green 4x4 brick is your base.  In the middle of the base place the orange 2x2 brick.  Place the flat 2x6 black brick upside down on top of the orange brick so the ends stick out of each side like a see-saw. Proceed to balance as many of the other bricks as possible on either side of the see-saw. You place the bricks on the see-saw right side up so they don't click on to the flat black 2x6 brick that is upside down. You must only put one brick on each side of the see-saw at a time because none of the bricks that you pile up may click together. Once your towers topple over, count the total number of all the studs on the pieces that you have stacked up. The next player then tries to beat the score of the previous player. The player with the highest number of studs wins.

Lesson Learned: The student will learn how to visualize the weights of different lego pieces and predict how one piece will balance against another piece.

Counting By Eights

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Augustus Reid, Ashley Elementary

Students are given LEGo bricks. They are encouraged to discover the physical structure of the bricks. The teacher focuses on the brick's studs and counts them. With a calculator the student stacks blocks and records each group of eight is added to the figure.

Lesson Learned: small motor skills, cognitive counting reinforcing the eight multiplication tables.

Build and Explore

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Aimee Sonderman, home school

Each student has set a LEGO Smart Kit. Challenge is to build a vehicle (such as plane, boat, car, etc). Student should fly, drive, etc. his vehicle to someplace in the world and give 5 minute presentation about that place.

Lesson Learned: world geography, history, modes of transportation, communication

How Fast?

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Aimee Sonderman, home school

Pick a theme (dog, car, bird, flower, etc), Each stydent has a LEGO Smart Kit. Challenge to build that theme as fast as possible. Who can build the fastest? Whose looks most 'realistic'? Have each child describe their creation.

Lesson Learned: Creative problem solving, hand-eye coordination

Build and Pass

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Aimee Sonderman, home school

Place LEGO bricks in a non-see-through bag. Student A reaches in bag and picks out two bricks. Student A puts the bricks together and passes the bag and the 'creation' to Student B. Student B reaches in bag and pulls out a LEGO piece and adds it to the 'creation.' Players alternate turns until all bricks are used. To give the task more of a challenge, Have the players to build a specific category (animal, vehicle, etc.); Have players name & write about their creation.

Lesson Learned: team building, communication, creative problem solving

Leraning Locations Through LEGO

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Ruth Patrick, Williamstown Elementary

Our third grade class will make a list of all of the commercial and public buildings our small community has.  With nineteen students, we will have nineteen building cards.  We will also use nineteen residential cards that identify the different types of homes our students have: house, duplex, condo, and apartment.  Students will use graph paper to draw a draft of 3 dimensional models of their homes and their businesses.  Scale size will be important, so prior to beginning construction, students will discuss their plans to make building sizes consistent with one another.   Then the buildings will be made using LEGO bricks.  Students will work in groups to create a model of our town.  Roads, parking lots and driveways will be added.  Streets, homes, and businesses will be labeled.  Our model town will become a teaching tool.  1) Students will learn how to give directions by using landmarks or street names. 2) Students will draw scale size buildings to assist with the creation of the LEGO buildings. 3) Students will work in groups to place the buildings, as well as other features to create our town. 4) The model community will be useful as a creative writing focus in language arts. Students will design advertisements for their businesses.   They will write letters to each other using "addresses" from the model town. The student postmaster will collect and deliver these letters.

 Lesson Learned: By building a model of our community, students will link their own knowledge to their classmates' knowledge.  Our class will be mastering social studies concepts while improving listening and speaking skills through language activities.  They will benefit from coordination-building activities, especially those who are lagging behind. Students with poor coordination often avoid activities that require fine motor skills.  Therefore, with the use of LEGO bricks and their knowledge of our town, they will assist in assembling the model community.

Building Blocks of Education

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Crystal Michel, Believers are Achievers Home school

As a team create a multi-dimensional object using only the LEGO bricks provided.  For example a cube or triangle would work.

Lesson Learned: Team building skills, problem solving skills, hand-eye coordination, mathematical concepts, etc.

Investigating Structures

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Belinda Henson, Christian Life Preparatory School

This activity would enhance Unit 8 in Christian Schools International Text Science Level 3. Lesson 1 introduces Scale Drawing and engineering. Students will begin preliminary design work on their structures. Lesson 2 introduces Strong and Stable materials and would include a discussion on the strength of LEGo bricks (does it have compressional strength, tensile strength, shearing strength) and what a LEGo structure could withstand. Lesson 4 details different types of bridges. Students would decide if building a bridge, what type of bridge scale they would build and what it would be used for.Lessons 5 and 6 is the actual building of the scale model and an evaluation of it.

Lesson Learned: Student will learn about scale drawings and blueprinting in order to build a skyscraper, bridge, or dome.

Design A Theme Park

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Melissa Goulet, McNicol Middle

Students will first have to research things that are found inside a theme park and create different teams that will be in charge to create different aspects of their area of their park.  Each team will be compose of a project leader who will be responsible for the development of their assigned area.  The students will then construct their area of the team which should be compose of a couple roller coaster, food services and others.

Lesson Learned: Students will have to deal with solving problems, working skills, hand-eye coordination, mind creativity and learn to work in teams.

How To Instructional Lesson

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Dennis Imoto, Hawaii Technology Academy

Using the LEGO Smart Kits, build a construction that will take you approximately 15 minutes to complete taking notes of each step that you do to complete the construction and writing it down or drawing it as you go. Have someone who's never seen you build this creation try to build it using your instructions, by reading or by following your diagrams, LEGO style. Once they start building you can't coach the other person and they must complete it withing the time limit of 15 - 30 minutes.

Lesson Learned: Writing or drawing skills, knowledge of LEGO pieces and writing instructions for others to follow in a step by step method.

Simple Bridges

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Brenda Wanner

Build a bridge over a gap spaced 8 inches apart. After built begin placing weights on center to determine what design is capable of holding the most weight. discuss...

 Lesson Learned: Communication skills, cooperation, basic knowledge of architectural design.

LEGO Solitaire

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Corinne Putnick, PAVCS

Pick a topic---animals,vehicles,colors, music, (math)--numbers,fractions,alphabet, words, the possibilities are endless.  Instruct the child to build something in 1 minute, based on what topic is chosen.  When time is up, discuss the creative work of art that the child has made. Take a photo for a creativity portfolio.

Lesson Learned: Students learn to construct under the pressure of time, using hand-eye coordination, quick thinking, and individual creativity.

Building Team Work with LEGO

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By David Hren, King Career Center/Small Engines

Students follow the step by step guide provided by LEGO Technic guidebook for the snow machine, four wheeler and motorcycle. They work with partners. Their work is checked for proper suspension, steering, and propulsion along with doing the job in a timely manner.  All of the students enjoyed this project.

Lesson Learned: They learned: to identify parts and proper placement of parts, to follow written instructions and to keep inventory of parts. They developed skills in team building and communication as well.  All of these skills will help them in their career with small engines and working with others. This project also helped them to learn the importance of focusing on the task at hand.

Education Blocks

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Kathy  Ray, Prairie Heights Middle School

The idea for this activity was sparked by student interest. I teach several sections of an all male 8th grade English class consisting of at risk students. To engage them in the learning process, I asked them for ideas that would help them to succeed. They suggested being able to do some kind of project with LEGO bricks. Based on the students' ideas, several groups of students within the same class period will come up with a design plan for their LEGO project on paper. The next step of the plan would be for each group to present their plan to the rest of the class. They would need to create a colorful poster as a visual aid for their presentation. After all groups present, the class will vote on the LEGO plan they want to build as a class. According to student suggestions, the LEGO creation would be put together a few pieces at a time as students earn them for good behavior and/or grades.

Lesson Learned: This activity will promote team building skills, group communication skills, public speaking skills, and problem solving skills.


LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Aisling  Jones, home school

One student uses the bricks in the LEGO Smart Kit to build something that is in the room they are in. The other students try to guess what the student has built. variations: Building something you would find in a particular room, using index cards ahead of time and having the student draw a card and build what is written on it. Whoever correctly guesses the item gets to be the next builder.

Lesson Learned: Taking turns, communication, thinking skills

Importance of Team Work and Communication

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Man Dev, New School

Team of 4 will be formed.  Each member is given the title of construction worker and told not to talk to each other and form a design with LEGo bricks.  Each team will be evaluated for team work & creativity.

Lesson Learned: Importance of team work, communication, and leadership.

Let's Sort

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Jun Han

Give each of the students a colored bag with a box of LEGO bricks. Ask students to pick out the bricks matching the bag's color

Lesson Learned: learn about color and hand-eye coordination

Well-Planned Houses

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Jane Hassan, Home School

Students will work in teams to build well-planned houses. This means they include all of the rooms they deem necessary for living, plus any extras they desire and agree on. There can be no more than 5 extra pieces when they are complete.

Lesson Learned: Working as a team; brainstorming; planning skills


LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Jessica Case, Jim Ned High

Students work together to build something.

Lesson Learned: Teamwork, communication with others, sharing

Train Game

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Karen  Goulandris, Hanna Perkins School

One player begins by selecting a LEGO brick to begin the "train" and places this brick on the table.  The next player selects a second brick that has at least one similar attribute as the first brick and sets this piece alongside the first brick.  Possible attributes are size, color, shape, thickness or number of pegs on a piece.   Players continue until all of the possible bricks are in line to make a "train".  Challenge the students to use all of the bricks to make a "train".

Lesson Learned: Students will learn team building and problem solving skills as they use one LEGO Smart Kit and work in groups of 5 or 6 to play the "Train Game".  Students will investigate attributes of the different bricks including size, color, number, shape and thickness.


LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Amber  Weaver, Jackson School

Working in pairs, students will sort the LEGo bricks into different categories. They will need to sort them into at least 3 different categories. Students will then notify me, and I will check their categories out. Once I've checked the group, they will then categorize their bricks into different categories from the first time. We will review the entire class's categories when finished.

Lesson Learned: Students will learn how to sort/classify LEGO bricks into different categories. They will also learn team building skills such as communicating with their partner and taking turns.


LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Barbara Riordan, Jones Dairy Elementary

The students will work in a learning center with a partner to create their own special home.  They will explain to the class about the home and its features.

Lesson Learned: Children are learning about different kinds of homes we live in as part of an all about me unit.


LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Nada Uber, Uber Academy

The students are expected to work together to build a structure that will be strong enough to hold a brick. It must span 6 inches, and be off the ground 4 inches. They will work in groups each week to accomplish the goal. Design and creativity count as bonuses!

Lesson Learned: Building concepts/engineering. Cooperative learning, communication skills.

City Build

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By chandler Lee

Build a city as big as you can.

Lesson Learned: just to have fun

Spotting Spots

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Lora Newman, Newman Home school

Introduce the activity by discussing ways the students could compare the size of the bricks.  For example, they could be arranged in piles from short to tall or from narrow to wide.  Ask for suggestions. If the students do not come up with it on their own, suggest that one way of comparing the size of the bricks is by the number of spots (studs) they have.  (If they do come up with that as a suggestion, run with it!)  Depending on the level of the class, you may want to use the word area or you may want to just introduce it as another way of measuring the size. Instruct the students to sort the bricks into piles with different numbers of studs.  Ask questions to guide the sorting.  What is the smallest number of studs?  What is the largest number of studs?  Which number of studs is the most common?  Do all the bricks with the same number of studs have the same shape? For more advanced classes, have the students choose a number of stud that has several different shaped bricks.  Pass out round counters (coins, chips, paper circles).  Ask the students to arrange the counters in the same pattern as they are on the bricks.  Then ask them to find other arrangements for the same number of counters.  Would these arrangements make good bricks to build with?  Why or why not?

Lesson Learned: This activity is designed as an informal introduction to the concept of area.  The students will improve their visualization skills.

Where's My LEGO Brick?

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Judy Spears, Bradley Elementary

Students use as many or as few LEGO bricks as they want for their "creation". Lower grade levels can do this during center time and place finished product in a baggie. Older students can complete this activity at their seat. After completion, students must observe and accurately describe their "creation". (Younger students may need a teachers help with the writing.) Lower grade levels will describe the colors, number of bricks used and the location of certain bricks (on top of, beside or under). Older grade levels will include area, perimeter, and mass in their descriptions. Then the objects can be placed on a table or other platform for display. Written descriptions are handed out and students should read the description and locate the correct object it is describing. This activity helps students with their observations skills, as well as writing and math.

Lesson Learned: Lower elementary students learn colors, counting and location; older grades learn area, perimeter and mass. Each learns observation skills.

Interlocking Structures

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Daniel  Krueger, Home school

Students can work in teams or as individuals to make LEGo structures that "interlock" without snapping.  I made a duck and pretended I had to catch him without hurting him.  This meant I could surround him, but couldn't snap anything to him.   Then I decided to make a submarine and pretend to rescue the submarine (with all its nuclear weapons...) with a device I built that would again not snap to it, but gently interlock with it.  Once I built something that worked I tested it out.  This time it needed to pull up and back without dropping the submarine.  I tried several different designs before I found one that worked nicely. After these you could develop a 3D interlocking system.  You can try this out in a bowl of water.  Can you get the two parts to fit together without touching one of them while it is floating in a bowl of water?

Lesson Learned: How to interlock pieces without using the snapping.  This can be done in 2D and 3D and for multiple pieces (2 or 3 or ??)

Mouse Trap

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Cheryl Shoemaker, Shoemaker Home school

After discussing cause and effect with students, the class will brainstorm a list of everyday things that involve cause and effect.  The teacher will then introduce the mouse trap assignment.  When a mouse smells the cheese on a trap, he eats it which causes the trap to spring and as an effect the mouse is caught.  With the LEGO Smart Kit provided, each team of two students will design a mouse trap system.  The small 1 x 2 green brick will be the "mouse" and the yellow 1 x 2 brick will be the "cheese".  The system may be designed to kill the mouse or trap the mouse.  Use your imagination.  The game "Mouse Trap" originally created in 1963 could be used in the classroom to jump start the children's imaginations and to show how one thing leads to another which ultimately traps the mouse.

Lesson Learned: Students will learn how to work together as a team to create a system that uses cause and effect to trap a "mouse"

Central American Ruins

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Melissa Prior, Queen of Apostles School

The students will learn about the three different groups.  They will view pictures of their ruins.  They will build and mimic the architecture used to make the temples.

Lesson Learned: The students will be able to create and label the different ruins as Mayan, Incan, or Aztec.

Don Quixote

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Dannielle North Decunto, Language Exchange of Northern Colorado, LLC

Our study of Spain includes the literature of Don Quixote. Begin by learning the stories and the ideals of the main character. Based on the sketch by Pablo Picasso we will then design and build Don Quixote on his horse next to a windmill. You can use LEGO Digital Designer in to help with design ideas.

Lesson Learned: translation from idea to design to physical model using math, spatial design, team work, hand-eye coordination and persistence.

Perimeter, Area, Volume

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Kayla George, Teague Intermediate

The student will lay the LEGo bricks side by side until they have a rectangle.  They will count the studs on the edges of the bricks to determine the perimeter.  Then they fill the rectangle in with more bricks.  They will count all of the studs and explain how they got the area.  Then they will connect the bricks to build volume and calculate how many studs are in the volume.  They will record results in their journal.

Lesson Learned: The students will be able to show what the difference between perimeter, area, and volume.  They will be able to see why perimeter is 1 dimensional, area is 2 dimensional, and volume is 3 dimensional.

Favorite Ancient History Structure

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Rebecca  Bragg, Classical Christian Academy for young patriots

1.  Discussion of objection and options 2.  Decision and building plan. 3.  Execution of steps. 4.  Deal with problems that arise, troubleshoot to make structure secure, more realistic, etc.

Lesson Learned: use of spacial perception and imaginative ability to recreate one of the studied ancient buildings.  Additionally, will need to learn to work together, formulating a plan, and work through limitations.

Parking Garage

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Kathleen Simonson, Colorado virtual academy

Use the LEGO Smart Kit to build a house or garage out of the bricks provided.

Lesson Learned: hand eye coordination, creativity, cooperation, problem solving skills

Scale Factor and Scale Drawings

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Chelly Alexis, Pomona Alternative School

Each team will be given a predetermined number of LEGO bricks and two randomly assigned scale factors. Teams will create a model and use the assigned scale factors to create two different scale drawings. All measurements will be recorded on a worksheet. When all of the scale drawings are completed, each set will be distributed to a different team. Working with scale drawings that were created by another team, each team will determine and record on a worksheet the actual measurements of the models and will attempt to build the model. Pictures will be taken of the original and subsequent models. At the end of the activity, worksheets and pictures will be compared to determine accuracy.

Lesson Learned: Students will learn how to use ratios to convert, read and construct scale drawings and models.

LEGO Afternoons

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Tim McDuff, Pawucket Public Library

Students are asked to build a creation based on a monthly theme while using literature and non-fiction reading materials as inspiration. Prior to building students are shown a number of books tied with that month's theme and allowed to browse the materials for ideas before actually begin to build with LEGO bricks.  At the completion of the project participants will be encouraged to check out the books to continue to learn about the monthly theme.

Lesson Learned: Designed to coordinate hands on building activity with literature and reading.

Three Little Pigs and the Houses They Built

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Linda Nagy, Holy Name Elementary School

After reading and comparing several versions of "The Three Little Pigs" students are divided into small groups.  Each group must draw a design on paper for a house that the three little pigs could build. Two groups will design and build a house of bricks, using LEGO bricks. Two groups will design and build a house of twigs, using real twigs previously collected outside. Two groups will design and build a house of straw, using real straw and mud. Each group will show & tell what they did to the rest of the class, including what didn't work and why it didn't.  They will also explain why their finished product did work.

Lesson Learned: spatial concepts, working as a team, creativity, retelling a classic fairy tale (comprehension, articulating in front of the class

Creativity Hour

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Nathan Elznic, Home School

Give students a box full of materials and ask them to share, encourage, help, and make something not following a pattern or step by step instructions. They are given a topic like, animal, letters, airplanes, and will explain to others in a short speech what they made and any special features it might have.

Lesson Learned: How to think outside the box, sharing with others, team work in ideas and creative input from others, etc

ABCs in Bricks

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Sharon  Black, New Life Christian Academy

Allow each student to pick a letter out of a hat. Give each student an assortment of LEGO bricks so they can form the letter with their bricks.

Lesson Learned: Students learn teamwork skills, coordination and creating letter formation in a new medium.

Making Shakespeare Come To Life

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Mark Witherington, Pulaski County School System

Working with students who have reading disabilities as well as behavior disabilities can be challenging.  Classic literature is one of the most difficult subjects in which to engage students with disabilities.  LEGO bricks provide a connection for these students to relate the reading materials to the mood or the tone of the author.  This can stimulate their imagination and creativity.  The students will read Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.  They will discuss the plot and strategy by using a plot diagram.  After the introduction is presented in the story, these students will set up a scene using a green screen in the background. As a class, we will build the setting described in the introduction of the play by using LEGO bricks. We will locate appropriate images for the settings in the play to use as backgrounds for the greenscreen.  We will discuss each character and assign a LEGO figure that best fits the each character described in the play.  We will assign speaking roles to each student for each character. In each scene we will use LEGO animation.  This will be accomplished by using a webcam, laptop, and the images chosen for the green screen.  Each student will use their assigned LEGO figure and create leg and arm movements for the stop motion.  We will divide the acts into one of five categories: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution.   After the acts are assigned to one of the five categories, students will shoot their stop action video according to their category.  The scene for the green screen will change to reflect the scene for the acts. After the scenes have been shot, students will be assigned into five groups.  Each group will be assigned to one of the five categories presented above.  Using Microsoft's moviemaker, students will learn how to place each picture shot from the scene into a  sequence and edit the scenes.  After the completion of each category, we, as a class, will place each category in sequential order.  We will edit accordingly.   The next phase is the dialogue.  Each student will read over the character script assigned to him or her.  We will work on the tone, personality and setting of each of the characters' dialogue.  We will go over the use of similes found in the play.  We will discuss the internal and external conflicts of each character and try to portray these elements in the dialogue.  Using a microphone and a computer for recording, the students will read the dialogue of their assigned character.  We will place the recorded dialogue and animation together using Moviemaker.  Once together we will add sound effects and the music.  Each student will be able to relate to the motives and meaning of each character and this will enhance their experience and helped them remember the famous lines of the play.

Lesson Learned: Students will improve comprehension of classical literature.  Through the use of stop-motion technology, students will learn to work together in groups to develop a common goal.  Students will engage in computer programs while learning how to direct, produce, and edit a movie. Students will learn how to understand certain elements of a story while engaging in hands-on activities. The end results will show how students can be effective communicators through small groups and their expression in media form-the finished movie.

Count The Bricks

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Vicki Givens, Givens Academy

We will discuss looking at the bricks and guessing how many they think they see. How to count them out and put them into categories. The steps they need to build certain projects.

Lesson Learned: Students learn counting skills as they build the project. Learn to guess and take averages of number of bricks needed.

Retelling a Version of Goldie Locks & The Three Bears

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Sally  LaPorte, Dean Elementary School

Prior to activity, read a version of "Goldie Locks and the Three Bears" 1. Review the story of "Goldie Locks and the Three Bears."  2. Teacher asks: How would this story go if a Baby Bear wandered into the home of a human family while they are out for a walk? 3. Teacher tells students they will find a partner and create this version of the story.  They will be given LEGO bricks to build four objects to use as props in telling the story; one object will be a bear, what might the other objects be?   4. Students find a partner. Teacher hands out LEGO bricks to students. 5. Teacher tells students they have a specific amount of time to work, as students are building their structures they should be creating the story.  6. Construction ends. Student pairs share their retelling with the class. Book resource, if available: "Deep in the Forest" by Brinton Turkle (1976)

Lesson Learned: Students will work with a partner to create LEGO props to use in retelling "Goldie Locks and the Three Bears." Students will rethink the story to use a baby bear as the character who wanders into the house and finds the porridge, chairs, and beds. One prop students should create is a bear.


LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Mary Wertz, Douglas Elementary School

Students work in teams to complete LEGO people, buildings, vehicles that are required in each profession. They will follow step by step instructions to complete the activities. Lower elementary students will use illustrations to build structures, while upper grades will have written instructions. For example, if a student chooses to pursue a career as a fireman , they would construct firemen, fire trucks,hooks and ladders, kittens in trees, burning buildings, etc. They will journal through pictures and/or writing about what they might experience.

Lesson Learned: Students will learn about careers, through LEGO based learning centers, which they could pursue as professionals, and the requirements and activities they will perform at these jobs. They will learn to problem solve and work as teams to complete as many creations for each career.

Car Design

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Doug Myers, Home school

Design and build an auto from LEGo bricks.

Lesson Learned: mechanical design

Simple Machines

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Lawrence Lupoli, Perryville Middle School

Using wikipedia and explain simple machines. Using a LEGO set explain by showing levers,pulleys, wheels, incline plane, gears, etc. Now students discuss and decide which one they want to build. Then give them a challenge project. Like how do you get a bowl of jellybeans from a lower bowl to a higher bowl with the teams who use more simple machines in the project getting a higher score

Lesson Learned: 6 basic simple machines, how to work in teams


LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Natalie  Kroope, Northampton High School

Preparation: Students should place their desks in a circle, facing inward towards the center.  Each student should be given an equal number of LEGO bricks.  The number of LEGO bricks given to each student should be the number of students in the room plus three. Activity: 1. Each student will start by putting any three LEGO bricks together in any way they choose.  Then, the teacher will instruct each student to pass their three-LEGO-brick-creation to their left. 2. The student who receives this three-LEGO-brick-creation will then add one LEGO brick of their choosing any way they choose. Then, the teacher will instruct each student again to pass this same creation to their left. 3.  Students will continue this process until the original creation makes it around the circle to the original creator or until all students are out of LEGO bricks. 4. When completed, students will walk around the circle to admire and make comments about the creation they helped create.

Lesson Learned: Based on an activity called, "Write-a-round," LEGO-a-round allows student to learn team building skills while using their creativity.  This session will be used in our school district's newly created mandatory ninth-grade class called Peer Relations, specifically designed to build and enhance relationship between students and their school.

Create A Word

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Renee Thompson, Fernandina Beach Middle School

Each group will receive 25-30 LEgo bricks of various shapes and sizes. Step one, teacher models how to create a visual model of a chosen vocabulary word.  Step two, all groups create a visual model of the same word with teacher direction.  Step three, each group will make a visual model of a vocabulary word chosen at random. During this time, 1 student per group may get up one time during the activity to try to exchange bricks with one other group. This must be completed in 30 seconds.  When complete, each group will teach their word to the class, including part of speech, definition, used in a sentence and justification of their LEGO representation. Students must also be able to describe their process during the entire activity.

Lesson Learned: Students will work together to create a visual representation of vocabulary words.  Students will utilize their verbal, team building,and word skills through this activity.

Construct A Sentence

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Jennifer  Hartley, Home school Educator & ECE Student

Before the lesson the teacher can tape, or write words on each brick.  Flat base bricks are used as punctuation marks. Students work in groups of 4 to 5 students to create their own sentences.  Each group must build 10 sentences using their words and punctuation marks.  They will write down their results and label words that are nouns, verbs, adverbs, etc. Group members help each other and learn together. This activity can be changed so that children can engineer spelling words, or learn reading skills.  There are many possibilities.

Lesson Learned: Learning the rules of Language Arts can take engineering skills as well.  Students can learn how to properly construct a sentence by manipulating LEGO bricks. This activity has endless possibilities.

Robot Cannon

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Elizabeth Garrison

To build a Robot Cannon, take the longer orange and yellow bricks and use them for a base.  For the body, add the small yellow and orange bricks to the base, one on each side.  Then add longer blue brick with shorter blue brick centered parallel on top.  Then add green brick to bottom of longer blue so it is in between the base.  Then add red brick protruding longways out of the back of the center of the shorter blue brick. Assemble the cannon snout:  Put black brick on top of gray brick (protruding slightly).  Add white brick to gray brick (area that is protruding slightly).  Put yellow eye brick on top of white.  Connect cannon snout by adding half of white brick over center of long blue body facing the front of the body.

Lesson Learned: A child said, "It's harder to build things out of LEGO bricks than it looks."  Hand-eye coordination was the lesson here.

Architectural Challenge

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Jennifer Cave, Holly Ridge Middle School

Upon completion of the primary classroom activity and after choosing the LEGO Architecture Challenge as their "Plus-it" activity, students will begin the task of trying to recreate the assigned historically relevant building.  Day after day, students will add to and rebuild the structure until the students working on the project (several over many class periods) reach a consensus as evidenced in the "Build Log" that the work is done.  The students participating will receive "Plus-it" points in their final grade for the class.

Lesson Learned: Students will work as both independent builders as well as in teams using LEGO bricks to recreate a significant building from the history of architecture. The project will help with visual spatial skills, team building, interpersonal communication and the development of leadership skills while reinforcing the trait of perseverance until the task is complete.

Build a 3-D Object

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Meg Sundberg, Weymouth Township Elementary School

As a group, students will build a 3-D object.  They must use all the LEGO bricks in their LEGO Smart Kit.  They must name their object and measure for area.  Then see if there is another 3-D shape that they can build.  Compare and contrast the two objects.

Lesson Learned: Students will be able to work as a team and cooperate to build a 3-D object using all the LEGO bricks.

Surfacing with LEGO Bricks

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Kathleen Schuessler, Wyoming central school

Students will be introduced to surface area prior to the hands on activity. Once we get to this activity, students will be asked to create a character from the given LEGO bricks.  When they have their character the way they want it, they will then be asked to find the surface area of their character.  With this they will set up formulas, and list all necessary data, then using a calculator they will show the calculations and reveal they answers and their final surface area.

Lesson Learned: Students will create a character from the LEGO bricks given. Once the character is built then students will find the surface area of their character. The students will work in groups of 2.  Once they are   done another group will visit their character to find the surface area and see if they are correct.

LEGO Animators Unite

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Isabel M. Lee, Elysian Heights Elementary

First the students are grouped into four.  Next the students will read various nonfiction (in this case animals) stories.  Then they will determine which short nonfiction story they would like to retell by building their LEGO characters. Next they will use a Storyboard to map out the contents and direction of the project. Using the storyboard to show what will happen on each page of the story. After the students are done with the storyboard, it's followed with discussions within the group and the other groups for any suggestions they may have to improve their story. Then they will work with the teacher for her suggestions.  Next each group decides what background(s) they would draw for their LEGO characters.  They use the digital cameras to take pictures of their characters using stop motions in retelling their short story. Using a software called "Frames 4" they will develop their LEGO animal animation short story. Here the children will add title and text if needed. Also add voice over and music to their animation movie. The teacher and the students use the Animation and Technology Rubrics to score their project and the other groups projects.They save their project on Quick Time as a movie. They also make a hardcopy of their project as a keepsake. At the End of the Year's "Open House" they will present their "LEGO Animal Animation" to their peers  and to their parents.

Lesson Learned: The lessons the students learned from this project are eye-hand coordination, team-building skills, communicate with others in vocabulary appropriate to technology and apply functional operations of technology components. This project teaches them self-confidence as writers, improve their reading fluency and read in a manner approximating natural speech. Students use digital cameras, Legos characters and  develop their own Legos animal animation short story based on one nonfiction story.

Communicate with LEGO

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Lorie Marchant, Nikolaus Homestead Elementary

This Lego Smart activity has been designed as a Smartboard lesson, but could be used without the technology components.  Materials: A Lego Smart Kit or a collection of any kind of LEGO bricks, as long as it includes  red, yellow and blue bricks. This lesson is easy to differentiate for different age and ability levels.  The adult controls what bricks are set out to use, what numbers are inserted into the directions; then the students can take it as far as they want! AZ State Kindergarten Standards addressed: Math- S3C1PO1 Recognize, describe, extend, create, and record simple repeating patterns. S5C2PO 5.  Explain and clarify mathematical thinking. Writing 3C3PO1 Participate in writing a variety of functional text (e.g., classroom rules, letters, experiments, recipes, notes/messages, labels, directions, posters, graphs/tables). Be sure to give the students ample opportunities to "free explore" with LEGO bricks before using the bricks for directed lessons. Activity 1 (Page 1 of Smartboard lesson:) Create a pattern using the number of bricks written by each color of LEGO brick. (Teacher either shows a picture of a red, blue and yellow brick with space to write a number by each, or uses real bricks to demonstrate with. Student answers can vary greatly such as; 1 blue, 2 red: blue, red,red,blue,red,red... or red,blue,red,red,blue,red,red,red,blue... Activity 2:(page 2 of Smartboard lesson) Directions: Put up a file folder partition between you and a partner.  Make a design using the number of bricks your teacher designates.  Take turns describing your design (verbally or in writing.)  Your partner tries to build it without looking at it.  Then reveal your design to see if you gave clear directions and if your partner followed them correctly. Let your partner do the building and try again! Activity 3 (Page 3 of Smartboard lesson): Directions: Create any kind of LEGO design that you'd like. Tell a partner about it (verbally or in writing.)  Give your design a name.  (Older kids could write a description or pretend story about their design.)

Lesson Learned: Students explore building with Legos on their own or with a group.  They build patterns, structures and designs with partners and then communicate their design through written or verbal description, mathematical pattern labeling (AB, etc.)and by naming their design.Younger children can communicate verbally and with pictures, older ones can write more detailed descriptions.

Blind Building

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Tracy Segall, Home school

Working in pairs give each group a selection of 15-20 different shaped bricks.  Have Student A close their eyes, or use a blindfold if temptation gets to them.  Meanwhile, Student B will use 6-10 bricks to create a structure. When Student B is done he/she places the structure in Student A's hands and give them a set amount of time to feel the structure.  At the end of the allotted time he gives back the structure for Student B to break apart and randomly place the pieces with others on the table.  Student A then opens his/her eyes and tries to recreate the structure from memory of touch.  Color of the bricks does not matter as some may be the same shape but different color.  You can change the difficulty by using more or less bricks in a structure, and limiting the amount of time a student can feel the structure.  The student who built the structure needs to remember what he/she built as to correct the other student, or they may write it down while the other student is feeling the structure.

Lesson Learned: Working in pairs the children learn to use touch to observe a structure.

Famous LEGO Cities

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Cheryl Falvo, Crossroads

As students study specific era's, for example ancient Rome, they will discuss specific buildings and landmarks. Students will break up into groups, each group choosing one specific landmark or building. Students will need to construct a 'to-scale' representation of ancient Rome. This activity will encourage across the curriculum learning of math and history. Groups will need to collaborate with each other on deciding size and location for each landmark or building as they remember it from their lesson.

Lesson Learned: Mathematical skills, team building skills, communication skills, and comprehensive skills.

Building For Balance

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Deborah Williams, Jefferson County School System

Students are directed to form a shape with a narrow base out of LEGO bricks. They are challenged to form the same shape with their bodies. Students then attempt to blow their shape over to test its stability. The activity is repeated and students are directed to form a shape with a wide base out of the bricks, imitate the shape with their bodies and then attempt to blow it over, again testing the object's stability. Teacher-led discussion follows the activity and allows students to describe, compare and contrast the differences in the balance and stability of the two LEGO shapes as well as the body shapes.

Lesson Learned: Students learn how the width of an object's or a person's base affects balance.

Byzantine Mosaics

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Dawn Burhans, Pacheco Elementary

As a wrap up to Byzatine mosaics, students will work in teams to design and create a mosaic using LEGO bricks that will represent what they learned about the Byzantine era mosaics. They will then do an oral presentation to the class about their design.1. Teach about Byzatine art form and culture, using the Internet to retrieve pictures to show the students. 2. Collect boxes (pizza boxes are perfect) that will hold the loose bricks and finished project. 3. Break the students into pairs. 4. Have them design and build a Mosaic that they can build with the bricks that will fit within the box. This is the part of the project that will require the most flexibility in time. 5. Have the students present their finished design to the class, being sure that they share how their design reflects the Byzatine culture.

Lesson Learned: Team building skills; public speaking skills; research skills; design & creativity skills;


LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Karen Webb

Start with body, go to wing span end with tail.

Lesson Learned: how to design aircraft.

Sort and Create

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Nina  Smith, St. Catherine of Siena

This activity is to be used with a specific number- the number should be discussed prior to the activity and students should be able to count to that particular number. Each students will receive a bag with anywhere from 30-100 bricks (Depends on time, amount of LEGO bricks and teacher)  Students receive a mat with three sections, labeled 4, 6 and 8.  Students will be asked to sort their bags into the three groups. Talk about the numbers on the top of the paper- what does each number look like. After sorting:  Discuss which group had more and which   group had the least.   Discuss other ways to sort the bricks. Then allow the students to create something using today's number- for example today's number is 6- we can only build something with the bricks that have 6 studs on the top. Discuss what students created and inquire about the ease or problems of the activity. Students then respond on the their paper:  Today I created something using bricks with only 6 studs. (Write the number 6) 

Lesson Learned: Through this activity student sort LEGO bricks by the number of studs on the top and are then asked to create something using a specific number for the day. This activity is designed for small groups.

Making Letters

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Virginia Goodwin, Mayberuy Elementary - Henrico County VA

Students will be given a period of 5-10 minutes to "explore" building straight structures and curves with the LEGO Smart Kit.  Students will discuss the shapes of the letters of the alphabet, focusing on the curves and straight line components of each letter.  They will be given 15 -30 minutes to choose and construct as many letters as they can and will verbally identify each letter and the shapes incorporated.

Lesson Learned: Students will learn to problem solve to determine how to construct the letters, make decisions about which letters would be easiest to make, and they would have to work in groups or with partners to build them.  They would use cooperative learning, as well, as eye hand coordination skills to model the letters.

Balance 4

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Dale Pormann

Starting with a six LEGO bricks on a table. (lay flat and up) Then using no more than four attaching points, build a tower as high as possible, while keeping it balanced and standing up.

Lesson Learned: Learn balance through tactical placement

Building Good Listeners

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Kathleen  Robinson, San Juan Del Rio Catholic School

In teams of 2, students will each have same amount, color, and shape of LEGO bricks.  Each child will have a flat baseplate on which to build.  Place a file folder/piece of cardboard in between 2 players so that they cannot see each others boards.  Person 1 will build something while telling person 2 each move they make.  The Person 2 has to try to build the same thing using only person 1's verbal instructions.  When person 1 is finished they check to see if their partner has created the same thing. Then they can reverse positions and do it again. It is an great way to enhance vocabulary skills in the early years! (This is especially wonderful for Pre-K and Kindergarten, but can be adjusted for any age).

Lesson Learned: Team building, communication skills, listening & following directions, fine motor skills, number, shape & color identification, vocabulary building and fun!

Wheel of Fortune

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Jackie Brannon

Prepare a "Wheel of Fortune" on a piece of cardboard. Divide the wheel into five sections and color it in five brick colors - one color for each section. Each student spins the wheel and picks out a brick in the same color as shown on the wheel. Everyone spins five times. Each student then has to build an animal, a robot, a weird creature or a friend using the bricks he or she has collected. Make up little stories about the models. Extend the game by increasing the number of spins and bricks per child.

Lesson Learned: Identifying colors Counting to 5 Building 3D models

Counting and Sorting

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Liska Garcia Rovi, Imagine School at Land O' Lakes

Divide the class in groups of 2-4 players.  Each team is given a set of LEGO bricks to count and sort.  Once they have sorted the bricks by color they must make a tower per color and count how many pieces in each.  Then they must graph their results.

Lesson Learned: Students will be able to count to 20 and sort the LEGO bricks by color.

Mirror, Mirror Build It Tall

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Laura Woodall, Sheridan Intermediate School

First, pass out identical LEGO Smart Kits to each student.  Tell them to first watch you build a castle for the evil witch in Snow White.  Then have them each build the same castle. That wasn't so hard but could you build it "mirrored" or backward.  Have the students tear down the model and then rebuild it in mirrored fashion. Next, Pair the students with their classroom partners, students with first names starting with earliest letter in alphabet are the "ALPHA" teammate.  Have the Alpha build a castle and the "Beta" mirror it.  First team to complete correctly wins 5 points. Now the fun really begins - Rotate Alphas clockwise around the room changing partners with each round of the game.  The Alphas and Betas with the most points at end of game time win a prize- LEGO bricks? Maybe. . . Additional Parameter changes: 1. Reverse Alpha to Beta roles every other time.  2. Have Alpha and Beta work together to achieve mirror image of the castle.  3. Allow no talking-only non-verbal communication.  4. Insist on lots of talking the Mirror builder through.  Analysis:  Have students discuss the game.  Was it easier to be the Builder or the Mirror?  Did it help to have help building the mirror?  Sometimes help isn't so helpful.  Did talking help or hurt the speed of completion?  Was it fun?  A keeper lesson?  Would they play it differently?  What could be added to make it more fun?

Lesson Learned: Students will work collaboratively with different class members as their team changes, building new working relationships.  They will also improve hand-eye coordination, visual perception skill and verbal and non-verbal communication skills.

Asgo el LEGO Correcto! (Grab the Right LEGO!)

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Emily Jacobs, Kerr Middle School

Teacher Preparation: For each LEGO brick in the kit, the number of studs and the color of the brick should be written on a notecard IN SPANISH. A set of brick notecards should be prepared for every pair of students. Each pair should have a bag or bowl containing a complete LEGO Smart Kit, and a set of notecards as explained above. Pairs will take turns drawing a card and matching it with the appropriate brick.  The pair that has all of their cards correctly matched with bricks first wins a special treat.

Lesson Learned: Students will gain understanding of the Spanish language, including numbers and colors.  They will also improve teamwork and communication skills.

Create Anything

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Cathy/Kenny Malczynski, Home School

Each student uses all the bricks from one LEGO Smart Kit.  Use your imagination and create anything you want!

Lesson Learned: You can create anything your imagination allows!!  Have fun!!

Creating With Primary Colors

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Cathy/Kenny Malczynski, Home School

Give each child one LEGO Smart Kit.  Have them pull out the primary colors.  Use them to create an object.  Name their object.

Lesson Learned: primary colors


LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Jeremy Davidson, Central Coast Preparatory School

Allow approximately 5 minutes for each Step 1 and Step 2. Initially, use only a black pencil. Note: Student A will need to disassemble his building.  You may need a digital camera to capture the exact image of his structure. Step 1:  Student A creates a particular LEGO structure and copies the pattern on paper, using a black pencil. Step 2:  Without viewing student A's model, Student B must interpret and recreate Student A's structure from his drawing.  Student A should not be available to prompt Student B. Step 3: Afterwards, Student A compares his original structure to Student B's interpreted structure. If any help is necessary at this point, Student A may proceed to communicate any necessary details to enable Student B to build the exact same structure. Step 4: Discussion Questions: Did student B interpret and build precisely what Student A originally designed?? Did both structures resemble each other? What similarities and/or differences did you notice? Why do you suppose the final results are different or the same?? How could the results be exact? Did Student B enhance Student A's original design??? (a different perspective could possibly promote a better design & building) How could Student A convey more concise ideas on paper, in order to ensure the exact same structure. What challenges did you face and could some or all misinterpretations be avoided? How is this possible? Step 5:  Variations: Reverse roles of Student A and B. Set a time limit for drawing and building. Only use a black pencil for drawing. Use colored pencils for younger students.

Lesson Learned: Students will learn how to create a 3 dimensional building  from a 2 design. Students will learn the importance of communicating and conveying their ideas  succinctly from a detailed drawing in such a way,which will enable the builder to interpret and produce the concise envisioned final outcome. (the structure)  This exercise reveals the challenges and importance of the relationship between  architects, engineers and general contractors.

LEGO Bridges

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Jerra Curnutte, Cabell County TAG Group

Allow student creativity to build a sturdy surface to bridge two surfaces.

Lesson Learned: Bridge construction

LEGO Manipulatives

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Jessica Steele, Home school

1. Sort and count LEGO bricks by color (use approximately 100 pieces) 2. Create a bar chart with number of bricks based on color

Lesson Learned: Home school group used bricks as manipulatives to sort and create a bar chart.

Team Build

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Luke Johnson, Spry Elementary

A group of students sit in a circle with one or more LEGO Smart Kits. A student starts by combining any two bricks in any way. The student passes the shape and the next student adds a brick. The object of the game is to create the best object (animal, vehicle, etc.). Students may not influence each others' decisions, nor can they move any previously added blocks. Each student is independently responsible for the groups final result. The activity is over when all the blocks are used, or all students added a block to the shape. This can be played in teams, where the winning team has the best looking design.

Lesson Learned: Students will learn to expand on ideas, think outside the box, and creatively problem solve. They will work as a team, but learn to express their own opinions as part of a group.

Discover Attributes with LEGO Smart

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Katie Watson

Explain the concept of "attribute" to students.  An attribute is a way to describe something--for example, color is an attribute.  Have the students pick out things in the room that have the attribute of being blue.  Shape is also an attribute, so have them pick out things in the room that have the attribute of being round.  Sort kids by attributes (hair color, long-sleeved or short sleeved shirts, etc.) and  give other examples until it seems students understand the concept.  Then, give each student a set of LEGO Smart bricks.  Have them pick one attribute to sort their bricks by (examples could be number of studs, color, thickness, has an eye/doesn't have an eye, etc--but don't give students examples this time).  Once their bricks are sorted, a partner should see if he/she can guess what attribute the bricks were sorted by.  Then, have the students try to sort a new way.  See how many different attributes of the bricks the class can discover.

Lesson Learned: Critical thinking, analysis, logical thinking

LEGO Classification Systems

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Maura Neill, JCMS

1. Students will design a classification system for LEGO bricks based on their own set of criteria. 2. They will divide up the bricks in their kit based on this classification system. 3. They will record the data of how many bricks fell into each category. 4. They will write up a description of their classification system and share this with their classmates. 5. They will compare the systems designed by their classmates looking for differences and similarities.

Lesson Learned: This activity will involved thinking level skills of application of student knowledge to first evaluate and then create a new classification system. It will involve team building, problem solving, communication through writing and sharing as well as realizing that there is more than one solution to a problem.

LEGO Shadows File Folder Activity

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Tomi Lessaris, Kid Company of Franklin

Connect 3-7 LEGO bricks into a two-dimensional (well-almost) shape that will lay flat on its side.  Photograph the construction and print it in black and white in life-size scale.  Repeat several times, using remaining bricks.  Glue photos to the inside of a file folder, then cover with clear adhesive film.  Let the child reproduce the shapes in the photos with the bricks and lay them on top of each photo. There should be no left over bricks when completed.

Lesson Learned: hand-eye coordination; visual discrimination; shape identification; fine motor skills

Stable Structured Creations

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry<
By Kelly Payne, Calvary Christian School

Students will be placed in groups of two or three.  Each group will work as a team to build the tallest stable structure using the 20 LEGo bricks.  Team work is essential because student 1 can not build with their brick until student 2 and 3 have attached their brick to the structure.  Each student has to take their turn laying down the foundation.  After groups have finished, we will discuss what formations made their structures more stable. (Example: Arches are structurally sound.)

Lesson Learned: Students will explore geometric formations by using critical thinking skills as they work with team members to complete the activity.

Bird's Eye View of the Room

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Jean Turney, St. John The Baptist

Using the floor tiles and painters tape to label numbers and letters onto the floor, the classroom is transformed into a giant grid. Students are each given a piece of graph paper and are asked to create a model of the floor by drawing lines to represent the perimeter of the classroom based on the number of floor tiles. The room is then divided into sections for each team of students. Students are then responsible for building what is in their section of the classroom using the LEGo bricks in their LEGO Smart Kit. Then the students have to decide where each item would be placed on the model of the classroom. Structures are easily placed on the model by having students use the graph paper to represent the raised circles on the bricks. Desks and other classroom furniture can be located by counting the number of dots over and the number of dots up to where the corner of the furniture is found. When everyone agrees that the classroom has been accurately represented on the model, it is valuable to demonstrate the differences between the panoramic view and the aerial view of the classroom model. Small groups are  now responsible for creating a map of the classroom. Aerial view maps can be difficult for third grade children, but when they are drawn from a model that the children can stand above and see all at once, it becomes achievable.

Lesson Learned: map-making, understanding grids, comparing panoramic views and aerial views, using graph paper

Don't Tell Me She Can't

Recently we received this story about the impact hands-on learning can have on students who face special challenges in life. Thank you Bettina Hopcroft for sharing your tale of success!  

I work with a 7 year old girl in 2nd grade - she has CP and her right hand is not much functional. She is right handed, but has to use her left hand to do stuff. I gave her the LEGO Smart Kit and asked her to built me a biiggg tower. She did, it took her a while, but the PT and OT said -- this is great for her small motor skills -- I will be doing this 3 times a week with her!!! She always gives me a different tower!! Don't tell me she can't do it -- she sure can!  - Bettina

Look. Run. Make

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Jerry Smith, Oveta Culp Hobby Elementary School

I created a shape using the LEGO bricks in the LEGO Smart Kit.  I placed it behind a privacy folder so the students couldn't see it.  I split the class into teams of 3.  Each person was given a job.  Person 1 was the looker, 2 was the runner, and 3 was the maker.  Person 1 looked at my creation and using only their words (no hands!) told person 2 what they saw.  Person 2 "ran" to person 3 and told them what to build.  Person 1 could say whatever they wanted, and person 2 could make as many trips as they needed to get the job done.  The group that correctly finishes first gets a prize. After we finished I spoke to them about using good specific details in their writing.  I then had then "draw" me a picture with their words describing the figure I made. 

Lesson Learned: Team building skills, following directions, giving details in writing, communication skills, words choice

Flower Frenzy

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Sylvia LaFond, LaFond Home School

Each student uses the Yellow, Orange, Green, Pink, and Red LEGO bricks in there kit to make a flower. They can use some or all of them. When they are all done they compare their flower to the other student's flowers.

Lesson Learned: Everyone sees things different.


LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry (OCTOBER WINNER!)
By Renny Fong, Public School 130 Manhattan

Before demonstrating to the class, have two LEGO Smart Kits prepared, one with all the pieces loose and one with all of the pieces clumped together into a random structure. LESSON 1 - Demonstration 1.  Prepare a tub of water. 2.  Have students pair up in teams. 3.  First, show the students the Smart Kit where all the pieces are loose.  Ask the students what they think will happen if we pour all of the pieces into the water.  Think, pair up with their partner to discuss, then share with the class.  4.  Pour the pieces in.  If digital camera available, film it.  Discuss. 5.  Now, show the students a kit where all of the bricks are clumped together into a "structure."  Ask them to predict again what will happen.  Will it sink or float?  Will it stand upright, tip to the side?  Think, pair, share. 6.  Place the "structure" into the water.  Film, if available.  Discuss. 7.  Have students write down what they observed and learned from this activity. 8.  In preparation for the next lesson, students can sketch a structure that they think will stay afloat and balanced and explain why. LESSON 2 - Experimentation 1.  In pairs, ask the students to build a structure that they think can float and stand upright and balanced in water.  After students have built the structures, take pictures of the structures, and have students write down why they think their structures will stay afloat and balanced.  Where did their ideas come from?  2.  Perform experiment.  Each group presents and puts their structures into the tub, one by one. 3.  After the experiment, discuss with the class what commonalities they see in the structures that worked the best.  Do these structures resemble real life examples such as boats, ships, animals, etc.? 4.  Students journal about their experiments. Lesson 3 - CHALLENGE 1.  For another experiment, what would happen if we added rocks or coins or marbles to their structures?   2.  How many do they think their structures can hold before sinking?  3.  Which structure do they think will work the best?  Why?  4.  Let's experiment!

Lesson Learned: Students will work collaboratively use the Scientific Method in an interactive way, where they will hypothesize and test, "What makes things float and stay afloat?"

LEGO Memory

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Bridget Jones

Divide the children into teams of two and give each team one LEGO Smart Kit.  Child A sits with his back to Child B who then builds something using the bricks.  After 3 mins, Child A is allowed to view the created object for 1 minute.  The object is disassembled and then Child B has to recreate the object.  The the team switches places and Child B has the opportunity to build while Child A has to remember the structure.

Lesson Learned: Imaginative play, memory skills


LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Dennis Gard, Home school

Setup:  Open the LEGO Smart Kit and remove the green square.  Get a piece of construction paper and using the green square brick, draw squares on the paper to make a game board.  The squares should touch so players can move from one square to another.  Select one square to be the starting point and one to be the finish.  You might want to even write start and finish in the squares. Remove the two orange bricks and the black trapezoidal brick.  Set them aside to be used as dice in the game. Have each player build a shape to use as a piece to move along the board. How to play:  Each player rolls the orange and black trapezoidal shaped pieces.  Count the number of studs that are pointing up.  Move that players shape across the board one square for each stud.  The player to reach the finish square first wins.

Lesson Learned: Counting, team building, communication

Linnaeus' LEGO

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Jackie Johansen, Julian Charter School

1.  Briefly review concepts of classification.  Give examples of how we order things such as items in a grocery store, shoes in a closet, books in a library, etc.  Let them know that scientists use classification to keep things organized. 2.  Tell the students that they will have to create their own system of organization using the items that they are given.  The system will have to make sense, and be agreed upon by their entire group. 3.  Break students into groups of 3-4 or have them work with their table group. 4.  Requirements:  After classifying the objects by site, write the basic components that make each group unique.  Each group must have at least 2 LEGO bricks in it. 5.  Give each table a set of LEGO Smart Kits and tell them that they will have 5 minutes to classify the objects. 6.  Students will spend their next 5 minutes writing basic classification components of each group. 7.  The teacher will ask a few groups with original ideas to present their ordering to the class. ***8.  As a follow up enrichment game, or as a GATE challenge activity, hold up a few "Extra" bricks that were not included, and have students point to which group within their system they would belong to. ***9.  As another extend activity, you could rotate groups to look at one another's ideas and decide where they would put in "Extra" pieces.  "Extra" pieces may not fit anywhere and would need to be put in a separate group.

Lesson Learned: Students will create a classification method using a set of LEGO bricks.

LEGO Math Equations

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Austin Rudd, home schooled

Children can use LEGO bricks to see how many math equations they can form and solve in 10 minutes with only the LEGO Smart Kit. The student who forms the most equations wins all the bricks!

Lesson Learned: Gives students a new way to do math problems in a hands on way. Studies show that people retain more when hands on methods are used. Can be used with simple addition all the way up to algebraic equations.

Construct A Useful Vehicle

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Russell Abe, Webling Elementary School

Bricks from the LEGO Smart Kit along with other spare parts from other sets are given to students to give them the greatest possible range to invent a vehicle. Students in group needs to be in consensus and a survey as far as the needs to be taken.

Lesson Learned: Students will learn how to work together as a team to brainstorm an idea to plan, design and build a vehicle that would meet the needs as many people as possible to the fuel costs and traffic problems.

LEGO Graphing

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Nathan Stone, home school

In the first 10 minutes, the instructor should explain the concept of a histogram (binning data) -- the creation of bins and counting of elements that fall in the bin.  In the second 10 minutes, students should look for at least 4 types of concrete items in or around the room that can be differentiated from one another (teaching discernment) and count all such items in the vicinity.  They will then lay out LEGO bricks in lines whose length corresponds to the counted items -- perhaps tying the bars together via flat pieces.  In the third 10 minutes, students will show their newly formed graphs to others in the room confirming their counting methodology, and providing a presentation opportunity.

Lesson Learned: Students will learn how to generate and read 2D and 3D graphs to convey numerical data to other people.

Color Challenge-Outdoor Nature Study

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Barbara McCoy, Harmony Fine Arts Home school

1. Place LEGO bricks in a bag. 2. Once outdoors in your backyard, park, or schoolyard, pull one brick out at a time and try to find something in nature that matches the brick's color. (green for some grass, yellow for a flower, orange for some pollen, etc) 3. Continue pulling bricks until you have found something for each color in the bag. 4. As a bonus, use the piece with an eye to match to something you found that is a living creature, perhaps an ant or a bird.  This activity will help children to learn to really see what is in their environment close at hand. Matching the colors of the bricks to objects they observe closely will help them learn about concepts of camouflage in nature as well as patterns and colors. Is that tree trunk really brown or is it actually another color? Taking time to notice the little things around us is a skill all children need for many more complex learning tasks.

Lesson Learned: Outdoor education, nature study, patterns and color in nature, visual discrimination, use of camouflage in nature.

LEGO Town 2

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Tammy Baynard, Peoria Family YMCA

The students are split into 2 teams. They need to design their town with landmarks,bridges,rivers,etc.. once they design it they need to be creative and use materials we give them with LEGO bricks.

Lesson Learned: Team building.

Technical Drafting

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Teresa Johnson, Social Circle High School

Students are given a set of LEGO bricks and instructed to build something.  It does not matter what they build.  Students are then instructed to sketch or draw their model using the rules of orthographic projection.  Showing the front, top, and right side view of the model they have built.

Lesson Learned: Students gain an understanding of orthographic projections and full scale drawing.

Mirror Image LEGO

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Anna Liao, CHEP North

Students pair up to form teams.  Each team decides which teammate will build first onto a baseplate.  The builder will have 10 minutes to build something on half of a LEGO baseplate with bricks without his or her partner watching.  After the 10 minutes are up, the builder hands his work over to his or her partner who then has to make the mirror image of the original.  After completing the build, the teammates look over their combined efforts and see if their combined efforts produce a symmetrical image.

Lesson Learned: Students will learn teamwork and develop their understanding of geometric symmetry.


3-D ABCs

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Anna Hughes

1. Have each student build a letter of the alphabet using their own LEGO Smart Kit.  It could be built 3-D or it could be built by placing the bricks side-by-side.  2. After each child has chosen and built a letter, ask the child to build an object that begins with that letter.  For example: the letter 'H' could be built and after completing that, the child could build a horse, house, or helicopter. 3. Ask each child to present their object to the class.  For example, "I chose the letter 'H.'  I built a helicopter because helicopter begins with an 'H'." 4. Ask all the children to repeat in unison, "H-H-Helicopter starts with H."

Lesson Learned: phonics, hand-eye coordination, forming alphabet characters, public speaking, creativity

Neil Armstrong and the Tin Goose

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Celeste Hester

We had this idea after reading The Childhood of Famous Americans book on Neil Armstrong.  When he was 6 years old, he took his first flight on an old airplane with his father, which is where he fell in love with flying.  This activity helped the children build the "Tin Goose", which was the name given to the old Ford Tri-motor plane which took Neil closer to his dreams of flying. Steps to building the Tin Goose: 1.  Take the rectangular 2x8 LEGO brick.  This will be the 2nd layer from the bottom, but we'll build off of this piece.  2.  The bottom layer will help stabilize the Tin Goose.  Place the 2x8 brick vertically in front of you, and place a 2x4 brick underneath it and even with the front of the plane.  Take a 1x6 and a 1x4 brick to be the wheels.  Place the longer one at a right angle flush to the 2x4 just placed.  Be sure it is symmetrically placed.  Next place the 1x4 flush with the bottom end of the plane, also symmetrically placed and at a right angle with the 2x8 brick.  There will be a space between these two pieces just placed.  Put a 2x2 square here to fill the spot. 3.  The next layer will be built on top of the 2x8 brick.  This includes the wings of the airplane.  Take the slanted 1x4 brick and place it at the top of the 2x8 brick at a right angle and symmetric with it, with the slant going away from the rest of the plane.  Next lay the short 4x4 brick flush to the slanted brick.  Flush and at a right angle to this are two 2x6 bricks, symmetrically placed.  You'll have a 1x2 space at the end of the brick.  4.  The short 2x6 piece will go over these two pieces, with an equal amount over each one (symmetrically placed).  Then a short 2x2 brick will be symmetrically placed on top of this piece.  Place a 1x1 brick on top of this part to be warning light to other planes. 5.  Next we will make the person (Neil) in the plane.  Take two 2x2 bricks and place them one on top of the other.  Next take a short 2x4 and place it flush on the top 2x2, with 2x2 overhanging towards the back of the airplane.  This is Neil's scarf flying in the wind.  Place the 2x2 piece with eyes on it flush towards the front, with the short 2x3 piece on top of that, as his hat.  Place this entire person piece in the middle of the short 4x4 square.  We'll now fill in the rest of the airplane. 6.  Place a 1x2 brick directly in front of and behind "Neil" in the airplane.  Place a 2x4 brick on the left side of Neil, with the longer side filling in against the short 4x4 (part of this brick will be hanging off of the 4x4 brick). 7.  Finally, place the 2x3 brick on the right side of Neil, to secure him inside the airplane (with part of this brick also hanging off of the 4x4 piece).  There is one 1x1 brick left.  Place this on the last remaining part of the 4x4 short brick that shows, and you are ready to fly!

Lesson Learned: creative thinking, symmetrical relationships, even and odd amounts, right angles and other spatial relationships, American history, following your dreams, good father role-modeling relationship (from the Neil Armstrong story)

Hands-On Picasso

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Kristen Shields, home school

1) Browse through art books. Point out the different styles Picasso used. Spend time musing over the odd ones, trying to figure out just how many people are in the picture or what objects they are using. Let the children guess what they are seeing. 2) Let students have time to think, and then build a Picasso-style statue using their LEGO bricks. There is no wrong answer ... let the creativity free! 3) Let the children show each other what they came up with, and describe what it's meant to represent. Take a picture of each child with his or her creation, if desired, and print out as a keepsake for the student.

Lesson Learned: Art Appreciation, Creativity, Building Skills

Structural Integrity

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Dawn McKinley

Using every LEGO brick in the kit, students build the tallest free standing structure.

Lesson Learned: There are many ways to build a structure, architects uses creativity and available materials.

Please Pass Notes!

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Cathy  Ramirez, Orenda Education's Williams House School

Over the course of one week, share the Braille Alphabet with your students. Have them practice the letter patterns by "writing" in Braille.  Since Braille letters are constructed by placing a group of dots within a 6 block grid, LEGO bricks with 6 studs work the best. Have students take bricks and paint liquid stamp ink on the studs in order to stamp them on a sheet of paper. Have your students choose a friend in the room and ask them to write a note to their friend in Braille using the LEGO stamps.

Lesson Learned: Students will practice identifying patterns. Students will gain exposure to other methods of communication. Students will practice the Braille alphabet.

Walk Around The Brick

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Belinda  Van Norman, Southwest Laurens Elementary

Students will break into groups of 3 or 4.  Each group will have different sized and shaped LEGO bricks.  Using the small studs as the bricks, the children begin to understand how to count area and perimeter.  With the standard rectangle brick they would use the studs to determine that is has an area of eighth, as well as a perimeter of eight. 

Lesson Learned: Students will learn area and perimeter using different LEGO bricks.

Lines Of Symmetry

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Christy Vilaire

This activity is used to follow up a lesson on symmetrical and asymmetrical figures. Have students work alone or together to use as many LEGO bricks as possible to create symmetrical figures. Students will compare their figures with other students checking each others work for symmetry.  Divide the creation into two different groups: symmetrical and asymmetrical.

Lesson Learned: Students will learn to build objects that are symmetrical and asymmetrical.

Bridge Building

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Mandy Byrne, Boyle County Middle School

Working in pairs, instruct students to build the longest bridge between 2 sets of 5 stacked textbooks. The bridge should be built to withstand the most weight with their set of LEGO bricks within a 5 minute time period.  When time is up, have students compare their bridges to others around the room.  Test the bridges for their weight bearing ability. What types of structures are able to hold the most weight?

Lesson Learned: team building, communication, problem solving

Quick Pick-Up Bricks

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Laura Ringsmuth, home school

For every brick in the set you must write a multiplication flash card for it. Take 20 note cards and write the equation that corresponds to each of the 20 bricks. Example: For a 2 by 4 brick the equation would be 2x4, etc. Put all of the bricks in a pile and place the flash cards face down beside the pile. Take turns flipping up one flash card. Once the flash card is up, the players must think of the answer to the equation. The first person to say the answer and grab the corresponding piece gets to keep it and the card until the end of the game. If a player says a wrong answer, or they pick up the wrong brick, they have to put the piece back and mix the flash card in with the remaining pile. When all the bricks are gone the game is over. Once the game is over players count the number of bricks they have. The player with the most bricks wins! For an extra challenge have the players blindfolded and choose someone to read the flash cards to them. Players will have to feel for the correct brick.

Lesson Learned: The student learns to multiply easy multiplication problems quickly.  Also, the student visualizes the multiplication problems.

Writing And Collaborating

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Mark  Witherington, Pulaski County Alternative Learning Center

Take a 4 x 2 orange LEGO brick and attach the yellow 4 x 2 brick underneath perpendicular so that there are 2 yellow studs on each side of the orange brick.  The back of the 4 x 2 orange brick needs to be flush with the yellow brick.  At the other end of the 4 x 2 orange brick attach one 2 x 2 orange brick to the underneath corner so that only 3 arrange studs are seen-one in front and two to the side.  Attach the 2 x 2 yellow brick to the other side of the orange brick on top.  Attach the 2 x 4 black slope piece to the top of the 2 x 4 orange piece.  The slope is also perpendicular to the 2 x 4 orange piece.  This slope should be centered with each side out one place form the orange piece.  On the opposite end of the orange piece attach a 2 x 3 red piece on so that 2/3 is sticking out.  Set this completed structure to the side.  This completes the dog. The alien boy is next.  Attach the 2 x 2 with one eye (yellow) perpendicular and in the center on top of a green 1 x 4 piece with one of the eyes flush to the 1 x 4 green piece.  Underneath the far side of the 1 x 4 green piece attach a green 1 x 2 so that it is protruding outward.  Do the same thing with the 1 x 2 yellow piece to the other side of the 1x 4 piece.  This completes the structure. The space ship is next.  Center a 4 x 4 flat lime green piece perpendicular on top and flush it to one end of a 2 x 8 blue piece.  Take the gray 2 x 6 and attach underneath the lime green piece so that only four are attached and the back part of the gray piece is protruding beyond the flush lime-green piece and blue piece.  Do the same thing with the green piece on the other side.  This is the back.  On the front attach a gray 1 x 3 piece on top of the blue 2 x 8 piece so that 2/3 is pointing forward.  Take the 2 x 2 white and attach on top of the exposed area of the blue piece flush against the lime-green 4 x 2 flat piece.  On the corners of the 2 x 2 piece attach the 1 x 1 pink piece.  At the back design a tail for the aircraft.  This is the space ship.  The student will write a manual using the pictures taken from each piece.  Students will learn how to attach pictures using a table and learn how to write a brief description of each.  Students will also write a narrative story along with a simple dialogue for a short storyboard that will involve making a movie.  This story will include the three pieces of structure, the alien dog, the alien boy, and the alien spaceship.  The guideline of the story is under the synopsis that the boy lost his dog and is using the spaceship to find out where the dog is in the solar system.  After the script has been written, it needs to be placed in a stop-motion format using the software Claymation Studio that has a chroma key.  The chroma key allows the background to be anything such as the surface of Mars.  Using a webcam or any digital camera through the chroma add the appropriate background.  Place the alien dog in the view of the camera.  Before taking pictures make sure a folder has been created to hold all the pictures.  Take several pictures of the dog running around in circles.   To do this, barely move the dog ahead before each picture. .   Then complete the rest of the storyboard according to the students' scripts.  This is the sop part of the stop motion animation.  Most computers that run Windows XP will have Moviemaker on them.  To import pictures click on the import pictures icon in Moviemaker, locate the folder of the pictures click on it.  To import the pictures hit ctrl A and all the pictures in the folder will be download in the order they were taken into Moviemaker.  After the pictures have been downloaded click ctrl A on the first picture and drag them to the empty storyboard. Go to the edit tab and click option, then click advanced and set picture duration to 1 second.  Using the webcam or a microphone, record the dialogue written out by the students in place the dialogue in a folder.  Record each line and save it as line 1, 2, etc.  In the movie maker dialogue box click on import audio, then locate the folder and slide in each audio snipit into the timeline spot that has audio/music.  To adjust the dialogue with the movie, click on show timelime and place the cursor in between the two frames to adjust and a double red arrow appears.  Move the slide to be longer to match the dialogue.  When finished, click on save movie file and click on play back on computer.  Once saved, open the movie file in Moviemaker and drag it into the time line and add sound affects from a sound effect cd.  Resave the movie.

Lesson Learned:  Students will learn how to write an expository assignment.  Students will also develop a storyboard with a written plot and include a dialogue. The finished product will have merged technology , computer experience, and middle school English standards.

Get To The Moon

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Raul Beascochea, DAG - Disability Awareness Group

Items needed; engine parts, wing parts, body parts, crew members, rocket part or space ship parts. Who would you take with you? What would you need to survive in space? What would you need to survive in space? How long will it take to get there? Who will plan the trip? How will you get back? How many people will be needed to plan trip?

Lesson Learned: Skills learned; Being part of a team, learning to share ideas and listening to others point of view. learning how important communication is.

100 Dots

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry (GRAND PRIZE WINNER!)
By Colleen Dixon, Mountain View

This activity is for K-3 students.  Using the LEGO Smart Kit the student will build a creation that, when viewed from above, will show exactly 100 LEGO dots.  Students should compare how their creations are similar to and different from each other.  Students should discuss and share strategies for building their creation so that exactly 100 LEGO dots could be seen.

Lesson Learned: Critical thinking and problem solving skills; counting to 100

Chain Reaction

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Kim Roberts, home school

Place the pieces of the Lego Smart Kit in a bag and have each student take a turn drawing one brick at a time until all bricks were drawn.  One student begins by by placing one brick on the table while telling the beginning of a story.  Next, the other student continues the story - adding in her part while attaching a brick to the first one.  This continues until all the bricks are used and a story is created.  The creation with the bricks helps each student to retell the story, as each brick represents a "piece" of the story.  Their LEGO bricks "told" the story they made together.

Lesson Learned: Students learn to work together and build off one another's ideas.

Build It Bigger, LEGO It Larger

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Nancy Wagner, Kerr Middle School

Students will form teams of two and will be given a LEGO Smart Kit.  Teams will be instructed to build a structure using only the bricks that will stand on its own.  The only guidance given is that they should try to make it as "big as possible."  After completing the build, teams will use a millimeter ruler to measure each side of their structure.  They will use these measurements to calculate the surface area of their structure.  Then the teams will use their measurements to calculate the volume of their structure. Each team's results will be entered into a chart on the chalkboard.  Students will then work individually to make a double bar graph containing each team's results. The class can then discuss what it means to be "biggest," and whether the largest surface area necessarily has the largest volume.

Lesson Learned: Students will practice measuring, calculating piece-wise surface area and volume, data graphing, gain understanding of basic structural physics, as well as improve communication skills.

Size Grouping/Sorting/Counting

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Maryrose Malzacher, Key Largo -pre-k

Students will learn to identify and group LEGO bricks according to their sizes. Students will count how many of each size in each group.  Students can work alone or with others.  Students will discuss and chart which group has more/less

Lesson Learned: Students with strengthen their counting, sorting and grouping skills along with visual discrimination skills. In addition students will demonstrate understanding of concept of more/less by charting their result and by working together as a group enhance their cooperation (team building) skills.

Travel the USA

LEGO Smart Activity
By Mary Schwartz

Using a MINDSORMS Robotics Kit, students  build a robot (with touch sensors).  Using a large map of the USA as a competition mat, students will place their robots on a given state as their starting point.  Their task can be as easy as moving their robots from one state to another or they can be given instruction on traveling to several states and back to the state in which they started.  Bricks are placed around the edge of the map to keep it in place.  These bricks can be used by the students, along with the robots's touch sensors, as part of their strategy to travel from state to state.  Time the students to see who can complete the challenge in the least amount of time. Make it as easy or complex as you like. I have a large USA rug in my classroom that I use instead of a map.

Lesson Learned: Students learn to build and program LEGO MINDSTORMS Robots in teams of two.  Skills involved include: following directions,programing,team building, problem solving,creative thinking,all while becoming familiar with the location of the 50 states.

Go Green

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Tamara LaCroix, Ouida Springer Elementary

Students will begin by brainstorming and discussing environmental issues and areas where they see a need for improvement.  Some amount of research may be done at this point as teams are formed to come up with creative solutions to the issues they choose.  Finally, students are challenged to use LEGO bricks to design and build models or express the concepts and solutions they have come up with.

Lesson Learned: In this lesson students will contemplate how design engineers would approach an environmental problem.  They will be encouraged to come up with creative solutions and designs that would improve our world.  The lesson will target team building skills, environmental awareness, and foster creative thinking and interest in engineering.


LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Suzette Burt, Dawson Head Start/Pre-K

This lesson is for Pre-K students with a non-English speaking student. Divide students into groups of two. 1. Students will be introduced to a pattern group. 2.  Each group is to create a pattern only using the LEGo bricks provided. 3.  Each group must explain what type of pattern they created and why it's a pattern. 4.  Each group will also learn the correct color name in Spanish.

Lesson Learned: team building, pattern groups, English vocabulary

Four & Eights

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Karen Goulandris, Hanna Perkins School

Each student begins with a teacher made work sheet that contains two columns.  At the top of one column is a picture or drawing of a 2x2 LEGO brick and at the top of the other column is a picture or drawing of a 2x4 brick.  The following should appear several times, under the first column: (blank)x (picture of 2x2 brick a.k.a. a "4") = __________ The following should appear several times, under the second column:(blank) x (picture of 2x4 brick a.k.a. an "8")= ________ Students will use the twelve bricks supplied in the LEGO Smart Kit.  Place the bricks in a plastic container with a lid and secure the lid.  One student shakes the pieces, removes the lid and pours the pieces onto the table surface.  Only the bricks that land "studs up" will be used for that turn.  The student counts how many 2x2(a.k.a. 4's) bricks landed with "studs up".  Student writes that amount in the blank space before the picture of the 2x2 brick (a.k.a. a "4").  The student will count the number of studs on  all of the 2x2 (a.k.a. "4s") bricks that landed with "studs up".  This number is placed in the space after the picture of the 2x2(a.k.a. "4") brick.  This leaves the student with a completed equation, for example, 3 x (picture of 2x2 brick a.k.a. "4") = 12 The student continues with any 2x4( "8") brick pieces that landed with "studs up" and completes the equation in that column.  Continue with players taking turns for the time allowed for the activity.  The following LEGO Smart Kit is used for this challenge.  Qty. 2- 2x4 bricks yellow Qty. 2- 2x4 bricks white Qty. 2- 2x4 bricks black Qty. 2- 2x4 bricks red Qty. 2- 2x2 bricks red Qty. 2- 2x2 bricks blue

Lesson Learned: Math skills are strengthen as students use cooperation and language skills to play the "Fours & Eights" game.

Fraction Fun 2

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Lisa Coburn, Abbotts Hill Elementary

Students should already have some understanding of fractional parts prior to the activity. 1. Allow students to take a moment to play and explore the LEGO bricks in their kit. 2. Give students a work mat (plain piece of paper works well). Ask students to show different fractional parts. ie. 1/2 yellow. 3. Have students compare and observe other group members work and discuss if multiple answers can be created and how they are different. 4. Continue a few more examples as a class. 5. Give partners a sheet guiding them to continue to find fractional parts to solve together. Work toward more difficult challenges, such as having the students to find what fractional part the flat green pieces is if the whole is the orange rectangle.

Lesson Learned: Students will explore fractional parts by using LEGO bricks. They will work with a partner to build and identify relationships and compare fractions that were created using bricks.

Going Up - Going Down Symmetrical Steps

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Karen Goulandris, Hanna Perkins School

Students will investigate basic line symmetry by building a set of steps going up and then a matching set going down.   Working in small groups will help to strengthen communication skills between students as they may coach, correct and demonstrate to their peers.  Explain to the students that they will need to build a set of steps going up and then a matching (symmetrical) set of steps going down.  Ask the students to use as many of the bricks in their set as possible.  Students should connect the pieces of the steps in such a way so that no bricks come apart when the structure is lifted from the table surface.   The following LEGO Smart Kit is used for this challenge.  Qty. 2- 2x8 bricks yellow Qty. 2- 2x4 bricks yellow Qty. 2- 2x4 bricks black Qty. 2- 2x4 bricks red Qty. 2- 2x3 bricks white Qty. 2- 2x3 bricks blue

Lesson Learned: Students will work in small groups of 5 or 6 with each student having their own set of twelve bricks.

Engineering Our World

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Marcella Bess, Home school

1.  Cut out a river using construction paper. 2.  Using the LEGO Smart Kit construct a bridge that will allow cars to cross the river. (repeat world activities having students build skyscrapers, house, etc.) Lastly have students construct something creative that they come up with. Have them write a report and/or present their construction describing what they see.

Lesson Learned: Students will learn how to construct different projects in our world.  Such bridges, skyscrapers, problem solving, and creating unique scenarios coupled with a story of their construction.

LEGO Logic

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Cheryl McLaughlin, Lee's Summit R-7 Schools

Divide students into pairs with a screen between them.  Each student arranges LEGO bricks in a straight line.  Each student prepares written clues about the sequential layout of the bricks.  Clues must be creative.  The description needs to be definitive, but intentionally a bit elusive.  Here's one logic problem example.  "Two LEGO bricks of the same color are in the middle.  A 1 x 1 is the fourth block away from the center.  The first block is the same size block as the fourth block, but not the same color.  The sixth block is neither a rectangle nor square shape.  The flat 1 x 4 is two away from the yellow block.  What order are the bricks?"  Students trade their clues.  Based on clues of the block's attributes, the partnering student attempts to solve the logic problem by using critical thinking to place the blocks in the right order.  Teacher modeling of one to two problems will improve the quality of the creative clues.  Clues can be developed on the blocks' color, shape, size, or function. The logic problem can be made easier by creating a line of just a few pieces or limiting the number of the pool of blocks with which you are working.  For more difficult challenges, lengthen the block sequence or require full usage of all the pieces.

Lesson Learned: Logic enhances critical thinking and problem solving.  Being LEGO Smart means challenging oneself mentally to increase mental sharpness and problem solving ability.


LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By kenneth  Gaylor, Western Michigan University

Break students into teams/units with leadership and chain of command.  Use a developed, multi-segmented design.  Student first echelon leaders will see the design and the instruction.  Second echelon leaders will only read instruction.  Workers are the only ones allowed to touch the LEGO bricks.  First echelon leaders can not speak with workers etc. It can also be used as a competition.

Lesson Learned: Use LEGO bricks as a medium for a team building activity.  Students can learn leadership and how to designate responsibility while building something.


LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Matthew Fox, USD 466

Activity 1. Build a structure. Have students estimate how many of what kind of LEGO bricks their are used for the Structure. Take apart the structure and count them.  Find the difference in everybody's estimate.  Next ask them from what they know how many bricks would it take to build a structure twice as big. Activity 2: Taking a flat brick with a large perimeter have the students count the studs on each side, add it up, and find the perimeter. Then demonstrate how it is important so the we know what and how many bricks to use for the perimeter.  This will put an actual concrete example in their minds of why they need to know perimeter. The other activities will progress in the same way.  The bricks will be a hands-on teaching tool for the students to better understand what they are learning and giving them an example that can sit right in front of them, while making it very fun!

Lesson Learned: The students will learn to us better hand-eye coordination, estimation, perimeter, focus on arrays, multiplication, comparing Real-World structures to LEGO models.  The students will also use the bricks to make 3-D Graphs for class.  I believe the possibilities are endless and new opportunities to use them as a teaching tool will emerge throughout the years.

LEGO My Library

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Andrea Moreau, East Hancock Elementary

My activity isn't really specific. Once a month students and families from my school gather in our school library for 2 hours to build and create with LEGO bricks. This is also a time for families to be together, to check out books together, and to build and create together!

Lesson Learned: This activity promotes play thereby contributing to early literacy development by increasing attention span, memory, creativity, and language and vocabulary skills. It also lays the foundation for  logical mathematical thinking, scientific reasoning, and problem solving.

Move Like A Robot

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Kathleen Taylor, Hayhurst

We blindfold a team member and the other person on the team has to move their partner through a hallway and in and out of obstacles by giving commands to them. Then we switch so each partner gets a chance. After this we send them to use their robots and teach them to give simple commands to work the robots. We put a square track down on the floor and have each team get their robot to follow the square. They use their rotations and their turns by degrees.

Lesson Learned: Students will understand how the robot need commands to tell it to go right, left, forward or backward.

Build a California Mission

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Darcy DuGal, Anza Elementary School

Students will study the general architectural design of the California Mission system.  They will identify key differences in the styles of the missions.  Student teams will then build models of a mission of choice.  They will create a replica of the facade of the mission using their LEGO bricks.  This lesson follows California 4th grade curriculum standards.

Lesson Learned: Student teams will study the architectural design of the main California Missions.  They will replicate the general design features of the mission of choice using LEGO bricks.  They will develop their teamwork skills and the ability to transfer new learning.

Paper Making Machine

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Conrad Herrman, Calvert School Home school

By asking Conrad to simply build anything he wanted to, I learned that imagination could lead a 5 year old to an engineering project.  So, I would recommend asking students to build any type of machine that they could think of, and then allow time for each student to explain exactly how his or her machine works.  I had so much fun listening to Conrad's intricate explanation of how this machine processes wood into paper!!  I especially enjoyed hearing how the eyeball functions to ensure that the paper is made correctly before it gets sold.  For a 5 year old, the benefit of having them build some type of machine is that it leads them into explaining how something processes and functions step-by-step, while also providing them an opportunity to use their imaginations and communication skills to vividly explain how something works.

Lesson Learned: I home school my son Conrad who is 5 years old and loves to be as creative as his imagination can take him (which is far!).  From this activity, he learned to freely build whatever his mind thought of as well as improve his hand-eye coordination.  He also demonstrated his ability to explain how his machine works in sequential steps.  My instructions to him were to build anything he wanted using only the LEGO Smart Kit.  Within a couple minutes, he handed me what he called "a machine that makes paper out of trees".  He gave me intricate instructions as to where the wood goes in, gets processed, and then comes out as paper so that "they can then take it to the store and sell it".  The eyeball serves as the "checker" to make sure the paper is ready (quality control!).

Communicating Through LEGO

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By James Norman, Thurgood Marshall

1. Students will pick a partner. 2. Each Student will be given ten LEGO bricks. The 10 bricks will be of various shapes and sizes. But, each partner will have the exact same set. 3. Students will sit on the floor with their backs leaning against each other. 4. One of the students will create an object using all 10 LEGO bricks. The other student does not look at the object. 5. Once finished, the student that created the object will direct the other student to create the same object using the bricks he or she has been given. 6. The directing student can use only verbal instructions to assist the partner. 7. Once the students feel confident that they have completed the activity they are allowed to compare their objects. 8. Students would discuss what went well and what didn't work well.  9. Students would then switch rolls and try again. Repeating the steps. 10. In the end students would come together as a class and have a discussion about communication. 11. Students would then be asked to write a reflection about the exercise or they could write about a time when verbal communication was/is important to their lives.

Lesson Learned: Students will learn to communicate in an effective and positive way. Plus, they will strengthen their team building, verbal communication, and fine motor skills.

Geography: States

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Jessica Sattani

1. Have students go on the computer or use library book to research at least 3 facts about a state of their choice. 2. Have students make the state from LEGO bricks and the three facts they found out about. 3. Students will present their states to the class. 4. Each student will display their state during a unit on geography.

Lesson Learned: Students will use information they learn from researching about a specific state

Trust Within

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry

By Danny Morreale

Students will stand on a table and let themselves fall back wards into their partner. If their partner misses. the student will have to build a LEGO tower within 1 minute.

Lesson Learned: Students will learn to trust their friends and neighbors.

Constructing A Five-Paragraph Essay

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Andrea Corbo, Keys Gate Charter School

Each student will have five LEGO bricks and one permanent marker.  Two bricks must be larger than the other three.  1.  The first brick represents the introductory paragraph.  The student writes "introduction" on this first brick. 2.  The second brick represents a paragraph that will support one of the three supporting details needed for the essay. The word "detail #1" is written on this brick. 3.  The third brick represents the paragraph with the "detail #2".  This is written with the marker. 4.  The fourth brick has "detail #3" written on it. 5.  The fifth, and last, brick has "Conclusion" written on.  This paragraph represents the "wrap up" of all the details that have been covered in the essay.

Lesson Learned: Language Arts:Students use LEGO bricks as a visual tool to help them construct a five-paragraph essay.  Each brick represents a paragraph.  I have used this activity to help my students with their state-wide writing assessment practice tests. They love it!  It's hands on.  I've even used it with sixth graders.


LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Helen Joran, Hoover

Students were create a form of transportation. Automobile airplane, metro rail, etc. Using LEGO bricks they will create their designs for what they want to build and work together selecting and creating their final item.

Lesson Learned: team building, sharing ideas, design skills

Human or Animal Skeleton

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Laura Locke, Brighton Middle School

Teams of students work together to build a human skeleton and name the parts and their function. Try to list all the parts according to diagram provided by nurse/ health teacher. Bring to nurses clinic/health class on certain date for judging by nurse and health teacher (or possibly science classes, school staff, etc). Also, correlate lessons in classroom with nurse/health teacher so that students understand skeleton and functions of bones.Will need building blocks, diagrams, and tables for display.

Lesson Learned: This activity would promote team building in pre-teens, health knowledge, science skills, communication, and definitely hand eye coordination. Great way to get kids talking and learning about the human skeleton and how the body works!

LEGO Stop Motion

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Matt Maurin, Edison High School

Learning Objective: Students will produce a 10 second video on the topic "Good work habits in class." Hour 1: Lecture on Stop Motion with teacher example of a a 5-10 shot sequence which will amount to about half a second. Students will storyboard their ideas and plan "sets" for their scenes. Begin creating sets from LEGO bricks, construction paper, colored pencils, magazines, and glue. Hour 2-4: Students will use cameras, tripods, flashlights, sets, and bricks to create stop motion scenes based on their storyboard. Hour 5-6: Editing and revision.

Lesson Learned: PATIENCE! planning, scene composition, camera work, editing, revision Prior Knowledge: Students understand how to use a camera, tripod, and editing software.

Building Community

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Donna  Smith, Heard Middle School

Ultimately, field trips to actual locations in the community would accompany this project. This activity would take place on a LEGO building mat in which students must work together to build a community. The students would "read" and follow building plans from generic LEGO sets to build. Students would use the computer to search and download plans to follow- allowing their own plan.  Then students would work together to sort and  collect bricks required for each project. Students would complete one building activity and learn about one community service at a time.

Lesson Learned: I would like for my students to learn community skills through building a LEGO community. They will learn about the required community services such as (post office, medical, court house, restaurants, grocery store, etc) while building.

Wild Rollercoaster

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Wendy  Dresser

Making your idea of a wild roller coaster you could build if you could build one how and what would you build, twist turns caves etc?

Lesson Learned: sharing,teamwork and logic thinking

Building Our Way To Bigger Numbers

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Jennifer Gleaton

(Kindergarten) Using LEGO bricks, students are shown a card with a number (1 through 20) and they stack that many bricks together. Students create stacks of 10 to count by 10s to 100. Students group the bricks by color for classification practice.

Lesson Learned: Students learn counting sets of objects 1 - 20, creating sets of 10 to get to 100, color classification

Sharing With Friends

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Jessica Ridge, WeeFriends Preschool

We have decided on building a specific building from a field trip we had. Each student will be taking turns in helping to design this building by memory. LEGO bricks will be divided equally among the students. One student will start adding a few of their bricks then will pass to another who will add a few more this will continue until all the bricks are added, and then we will determine if it turned out like we all remember seeing the building.

Lesson Learned: Sharing, Hand Eye Coordination, Team building skills, & memory building skills.

Sorting By Colors and Patterning

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Keri  Nitta, Antelope Meadows Elementary School

I group the students in to 4 table groups (5-6 per group.  I then review our sorting chant, "Sorting is cool.  Think of a rule.  Give it a name (sort by colors,shapes,size).  And group them the same."  I then put a pile of mixed up LEGO bricks in the center of each table and students discuss and start to sort the pile of bricks. 

Lesson Learned: Students learn about sorting and patterning at the beginning of the year.  Groups of 5 or 6 work together to sort the Legos by color.  They work on communication and teamwork, as well as practicing sorting and identifying color names.  Students who have mastered sorting move on to building patterns, such as AB, ABB, or ABC.  An extension to this activity that we will do later is graphing by color.

Build a Building

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Randi Olmos, C&K PLAYLAND

We will start with building a tower or castle. Counting all the LEGO bricks used and what colors where used in the patterns. How tall the castle can go before it falls over. What knocks it down easiest and how we can build a better castle. This will teach my students problem solving with others. We would need a lot of lego pieces for us to complete the lesson plan. Fun way to learn besides books. Little ones learn better hands on.

Lesson Learned: My students would learn how to work together and how to share with others. Hand and eye coordination is very important. Problem solving as well.

LEGO Challenge

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Allen Lathrop, Home Away From Home Preschool

Children will enhance their hands on education with a project to design and build a competing model for the LEGO Challenge.

Lesson Learned: Hand-eye coordination.

Homework Machine

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Jennifer Crone, Cedar Elementary School

1.  Students will read the book "The Homework Machine" in reading teams. 2.  After a book discussion, students will also work cooperatively in teams to design and build their own "homework machine" from LEGO bricks. 3.  Students must present their designs to the class explaining how they work.

Lesson Learned: Students will learn a variety of skills through this lesson.  They will work cooperatively with others which will improve their communication skills.  This activity will also encourage creativity through imagination since there is no such thing as a "homework machine", but students would definitely love it if there was such a thing!

Follow The Leader

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Jennifer  Lee, Valley Preparatory School

Students will be paired up and each student will be given a LEGO Smart Kit.  The students will sit back to back so that neither student can see the other student's bricks.  Partner 1 will build a simple structure and then give Partner 2 step-by-step directions on how to build the same structure.  The team will then compare their structures to see how well they were able to communicate with one another.  They will then switch roles and repeat the exercise.  If time permits, every student can create another simple structure and write down step-by-step directions on how it was built.  Then students can exchange papers and try to follow the directions they are given.

Lesson Learned: Students will learn the importance of being very detailed and exact when giving directions, and the importance of listening carefully when following directions.

STEM Your Knowledge

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Nancy Keller, Oakdale Middle School

1. Students will obtain the problem-solving card to design the tool. 2. Students will use software to create a plan to figure out what LEGO bricks are needed to build the design. 3. Students will determine cost-effectiveness of the tool. 4. Students will evaluate the workload and/ or capacity of the project.

Lesson Learned: Middle School students will find creative solutions in a team-based contest.  Given basic knowledge, students will have to create a model of a tool that could be used to help in Biotechnology or Agriculture.  Each team will design and create a "prototype" of the tool.  Students will have the project judged during the Learning and Literacy Expo at school.

Foreign Language Prepositions Have Never Been So Fun!

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Laurie Watson, Ross School

Students are each issued identical sets of LEGO bricks. The teacher directs the students (Entirely in Spanish or other target-language) to place the bricks exactly where she does. She might say "Place the green rectangle on top of the black rectangle."  By doing this herself, as well, the children understand what is being said. Through repeated actions, building the "tower," becomes a means of learning all of the prepositions of place. By the end of the second class-period, students can understand and create quite complicated "towers."   Once they are getting good at it, the teacher builds her tower out of their sight. They have to really understand the words to be able to build it correctly. The teacher might say: "Place the long blue rectangle on the table in front of you. Place the longest green rectangle on top of it, forming an X. Place the orange square on top of the X, in the center. Place the small pink piece to the right of the orange square, still on the green rectangle. Place the white square under the longest green rectangle, to the left of the orange piece.  Place all remaining pieces all around the tower." At this point, the teacher would reveal her "creation" to the class, and students would compare theirs to each other's and to hers.  The first time the students do this, they might stumble a bit. But they SOON get very good at it, and beg for 'harder ones.'The number of combinations and permutations is endless! This activity really keeps the kids involved! It addresses the needs of kinesthetic learners as well as those with highly visual/spacial intelligences. It can be used with primary-grades children through adult learners!  Once students have learned these words, this activity can be pulled out just for fun and re-enforcement any old time. To switch things up, students can do this in pairs or small groups, one giving the directions and the other(s) creating the towers while the teacher circulates to assess understanding. The building of a tower can even be an assessment in itself. Prepositions have never been so fun!

Lesson Learned: Students learn the Spanish words for the "prepositions of place:" next to, on top of, under, to the right of, to the left of, all around, between, inside, outside, far from, close to, etc. They also review the words for colors, shapes, and sizes. More importantly, they learn that learning can be very fun!

Three Dimensional Figures

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Cheryl Peppler, Palmer Elementary

Using 3x5 cards write the name of a 3 dimensional figure (i.e. cube, rectangular prism, square prism). Mix these cards up and place them in an open container. Divide the class into pairs. Give each pair a LEGO Smart Kit. Have one student select a card from the open container. Students have 30 minutes to create the figure they  picked. At the end of the appointed time, have the class as a whole judge each creation determining if what was created is correct. If not, students are to determine what needs to be corrected or if more blocks were needed.

Lesson Learned: Geometry, 3D figure identification, team building skills

Rembrandt Light

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Joseph Goodyear, Home school

1.Study paintings by Rembrandt and take notice of his use of "light" to highlight areas of his paintings and how he uses it to lead a viewer's eye. 2.Have students create an original sculpture using LEGO bricks. 3.Next have students shine flashlights at different angles as they move around their sculptures to see how the light changes the appearance of their sculptures. 4.The students can put their sculptures on a piece of white paper or dark paper and then shine the light at different angles again and notice the appearance changes.  Then turn out the lights and use the flashlights to illuminate the sculptures. 5.After observing all the different effects of the light on their sculptures have the students use colored pencils, crayons, or paint to sketch what their sculpture looks like when highlighted by the light.  See if they can capture or use some of the same techniques Rembrandt would have used to "illuminate" the subjects in his works. 6.Each student can then show their original sculpture in regular light and their sketch and talk about the techniques they used to illustrate the light in their sketch.

Lesson Learned: Art history, sculpture, use of light to highlight a subject, shading and contrast

Ready, Set, Go!

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Stacy Lee, Mr. Woogs Learning Center

Put equal amounts of different sized LEGO bricks in a bag, enough for four to five children to have at least ten pieces. Dump the bricks on the table and tell each child to choose a size, color or shape and create something using only bricks of the size they chose. Tell them they have ten minutes to complete this task.

Lesson Learned: Children will learn shapes and sizes, colors sorting and fine motor skills.

Unique People

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Natalie  Kroope, Northampton High School

Each student will be given an identical set of LEGO bricks from the LEGO Smart Kit.  Students are instructed to position their desks in a circle (outward facing) to not be able to see each others' work.  Students are instructed to create a "person" using any of the LEGO bricks provided--although they do not have to use all of the LEGO bricks.  When they complete their project, they are to place their remaining bricks inside their bag, and only have their "person" on their desk.  When every student completes their "person" construction, all students will turn their desks inwards (so everyone can see each other).  Then, students are instructed to walk around the circle to look at what every student constructed with the same LEGO bricks.  After all students make their way back to their desks, they should sit down in their seats.  The teacher will facilitate a group discussion.  Questions that might be asked include: 1. What were your initial reaction to the directions of this activity?  2. What were your strengths and struggles with this activity?  3. What were your thoughts when you were walking around the circle to see the "person" construction of your classmates?  4. Was their a particular "person" you thought was the most unique / creative--and why? Students should be debriefed about how every person is different and unique int their own particular way and we should praise these differences (instead of putting them down).

Lesson Learned: Students will learn basic principles of diversity and individual uniqueness.  This activity could be used during our district's newly created required ninth-grade course called Peer Relations.  This class teaches students about anti-bullying concepts--including genuineness, attentiveness, and empathy.

Free Choice

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Katie  Hillison, First Baptist Church CDC

Each student was given a LEGO Smart Kit and told to build something with the pieces individually. They came up with a spaceship, a boat and a race car to name a few.

Lesson Learned: Creativity, imagination, colors, hand-eye, self-help, cause and effect, and last but not least self-esteem. They were all so proud of their accomplishments.

Largest Square or Rectangle

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Theresa  Rakov, Rakov Academy

Ask each student to build the largest square or rectangle they could make using the LEGO Smart Kit.  The largest square created was 10 x 10 and the largest rectangle was 11 x 12.  We ended up with 3 pieces that did not make it into the rectangle.

Lesson Learned: Learn the difference between a square and a rectangle. Using the LEGO bricks to build the largest one they can in 5 minutes.


LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Rae Lyn Duke, Cox-Donahey Elementary School

Use the LEGO Smart Kit to teach colors, basic number counting, and number value.  Use the kits to teach shapes and then sizes.(Big, Bigger, Biggest) Another activity would be for the teacher to build a building/shape...the students would analyze how to make that shape, then they would create the same shape.  As the school year advance, so would students' visual skills. Mid-April or May invite the childrens' families to come into the classroom and use the kits as a fun activity.  Have complex pictures enlarged.  (Something that a student built during our class time)  Then let the student show off and make that structure.  Next  host a free style building time.  This is where the kindergarten student and their family makes a structure that must stand up on it's own and who's structure is the tallest wins! A Teacher made LEGO award.

Lesson Learned: Many of my students in my kindergarten don't attend preschool. Over half of the children are from low, low income families.  When they come to my classroom and use my DUPLO bricks for the first time I always here "Hey,they stick together." This not only teaches the children to share, cooperate, invent new shapes, fantasize about their building,they must evaluate if the building is going to fall, then adjust for that problem. Next they compare what they have build to a given picture, they predict how many bricks it will take to complete their structure, now working in a team they will persist on their way, they will team work and learn how to work in a group.  Their hand-eye coordination will improve.  Working with the blocks will stimulate their visual growth and lead them to question if what they are doing is what the teacher requested.  The skill I like best is ...Thinking!&n