By Kelly Reddin, Educational Services Manager
Apply knowledge to find a solution – that’s really what we
want students to be able to do. Sure, students need to have
some rote memory of basic facts. But, the reality is they
need to know how to use those nuggets of truth.
Enter the Classifying Mission. Students learn the way the
classification of animals is accomplished. They learn the genus and
species for a specific animal. They learn about sets and subsets.
Then, they apply that knowledge.
Students get their hands on a unique set of LEGO® Education
pieces. First, they sort. Well, there are a lot of overlapping
characteristics to these pieces, as well as a few really unique
ones. So, the sorting process isn’t as easy as say, sorting apples
and oranges. It’s a little more like sorting apples, oranges,
tangerines, tangelos, grapefruit, Cuties, and so forth. Some are
quite different, and others are very similar.
Then, the students must create a classification system for the
LEGO pieces. They must describe the attributes that determine
the differences and create the sets and subsets. Now, the real
heavy thinking and discussion kicks in. The ability to hold and
place and replace and hold and compare the pieces really makes
engaged in the
the creativity of
students is really
allowed to come
Crew had a great
to give the LEGO pieces a bit more “animal” than “inanimate”
characteristics. They determined which pieces could reproduce via
eggs versus live birth. They determined which pieces had “evolved”
from other pieces and should be in the same genus, but were simply
a different species. Needless to say, they had a blast and applied the
knowledge in a way that showed they understood the concepts.
If you would like to see your students working to go beyond
memorization, try the Classifying Mission. Using the LEGO pieces,
you might find they have the only “holes” in the topic!