By Karen Roebuck
Language arts classes were always my strong suit. I never had a problem with workbooks and traditional methods. I loved to write. But my son? Well now, he’s the complete opposite. Getting him to write more than his name has been a constant struggle. He would rather play with his LEGOs®. But his love of LEGOs wouldn’t help him learn language arts, would it?
Then I entered the world of social media through Pinterest and discovered so many LEGO pins that I had to create three boards—one for fun stuff, one for math, and one for language arts. Come with me as we take a virtual tour of my pins for language arts.
Who has a child like mine, who hates to write spelling words over and over? Enter LEGO Spelling! While I have only one pin in this area, its ideas could be used with any list or curriculum. In her ten-day LEGO Learning series, iHomeschool Network owner Amy Stults shows how to use LEGO and Duplo® for spelling, learning alphabetical order, and following instructions.
LEGO Writing Prompts
By far my largest category of pins is the writing prompts. Amy Blevins has listed all of her LEGO printables in one place. Her themed writing papers could be used as prompts. I love her LEGO emotions worksheets for both early and middle elementary grades. I can see them used as a supplement for How to Manage Your Mouth for Kids by Connie Hughes. She also has a packet of writing prompts that includes the traditional prompt with lined paper, as well as Venn diagrams for story organization.
Mary Prather, who blogs at www.homegrownlearners.com, also has links to all of her LEGO printables on one page. She has created a general language arts packet that includes designing and describing your own Minifigure, proofreading, parts of speech, synonyms and antonyms, and alphabetical order. She also has seasonal LEGO writing prompts and gender-specific packets. (As of December 2014, any new prompts are subscriber-only.)
LEGO Grammar and Copywork
Mary Prather has also created Bible copywork in cursive, which she uses after her LEGO-loving child has re-created a Bible story using LEGO pieces.
In another post in her ten-day series, Amy Stults focuses on using LEGO blocks to learn parts of speech, practice diagramming, and as sources for copywork.
LEGO and Narration
Dollie at teachersofgoodthings.com shows how to use LEGO building as a basis for Charlotte Mason-style narrations.
LEGO and Storytelling/Creative Writing
Becky of thisreadingmama.com has a blog post and printable for building, describing, and writing about a LEGO creation
Jillian, a mom with a lesson plan, has a similar idea: use LEGO Minifigures to tell a story.
What about middle and high school LEGO lovers? Ben McCoy, son of Harmony Fine Arts blogger, Barbara McCoy, has written an eBook detailing how to write a LEGO story.
Another post on Amy Blevins’ blog [http://homeschoolencouragement.com/creative-writing-LEGO-builds] shows how her middle school-aged daughter used LEGO pieces to create a story—build something, photograph it, then write a story about it. If you or your child/teen blogs, such creations would make excellent blog posts or serve as opportunities to write scripts for stop-motion videos.
LEGO and Listening/Oral Language Skills
Susan at www.storiesandchildren.com has created a game to help increase both verbal language and listening skills. In a nutshell, two players are separated by a barrier of some kind. Each has an identical pile of LEGO bricks and a LEGO base. One player will build a structure or pattern, one piece at a time. He must tell the other player where to place each brick so that they will be building identical creations.
Amy Blevins has a post that is geared toward preschool and kindergarten oral language skills. Though my children are older, my daughter, who needs help learning to express herself, could benefit from these LEGO Language Playdoh Mats. Unlike Amy’s other pins, these printables are subscriber only [http://homeschoolencouragement.com/LEGO-language-playdough-mats/].
The above links, while a good start, are the tip of the iceberg as far as LEGO and Language Arts are concerned. For more ideas, follow me [Pinterest username nerak1116] or any of the above bloggers on Pinterest, or do your own Pinterest or web searches. Then, have fun using your child’s love of LEGO bricks to enhance their language skills!
My Favorite LEGO® Blogs for Language Arts Ideas
Karen Robuck is a homeschooling mother of two students who, by time of publication, will be in sixth and third grades. She holds degrees from Blue Mountain College, a Christian liberal arts college in northeast Mississippi, and from the University of Southern Mississippi. She considers her homeschooling style to be literature-based eclectic with a dash of Charlotte Mason. A former teacher and librarian, she is currently a stay-at-home mother and writer. Karen lives in Pontotoc, MS, with her husband, two children, and two cats.
Copyright, 2015. Used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine, Fall 2015. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.