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The Library using Lego for Literacy

September 25, 2015

Broome Public Library has launched the ‘Build Up Lego Club’ to encourage children to improve their literacy and comprehension.

Lego building serves a number of purposes. One is training the brain to build cohesive concepts out of components.

Club co-ordinator Ian McLean told ABC Kimberley Local Radio that:

“Literacy and mathematics are based on units. In literacy it is letters, in Lego it is little blocks… You put those letters together in different ways that make different things.”

lego image from morgue file no attribution neededMr McLean also encourages kids to build narratives around their construction process: “They all tell me about the work at the end, so they have to think of the story of what they have built.”

Kids in the club are set challenges each term, such as reading a book by a particular author or in a particular genre, or building the 13-Storey Treehouse.

They also get involved in community projects. For example, when the Shire needed to design a new skate park, club members built some designs in Lego and were part of the consultation process.

The club is extremely popular, in part because of the intergenerational appeal of Lego: parents love it too! And Mr McLean notes it’s helped the library ‘hold on’ to young members as they get older. “It was a way of getting them in here to start with, and keeping them connected to reading.”

Lego bricks can also be used to support literacy, and for book-related activities at home and in the classroom. For example, parents might label bricks with letters of the alphabet to help kids understand the shapes of words  and sticking words onto Lego blocks can encourage kids to ‘build’ longer and more detailed sentences.

Young Lego enthusiasts can also be encouraged to become attentive readers by building things they’ve read about in a book, reading carefully and thinking about what a particular character’s house or the park they play in might look like.

And Lego themselves also market their own ‘Story Starter’ packs designed to help kids learn to structure stories in a classroom environment.

(Additional source: Bookseller + Publisher)

Are your kids Lego fiends? Tell us about their creations in comments below.

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