Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Lego Movie Inspired Minifigure Twist-and-Match Tubes - Real World Math at Play

I decided it might be fun to make some Lego Movie inspired twist-and-match tubes, using printouts of minifigures copied from pictures of the Lego sets for sale on Amazon.

The idea is pretty much the same as the Polly Pocket type match ups we made a while back, except that the minifigures were easier to cut out.

Even so, as I was fiddling with measuring out strips of paper:

* to the proper length for fitting around empty cardboard tubes,

* and the proper width for each of the pieces of the Lego men,

* then dividing them out so the pieces were the correct distance apart, so that when twisted all three minifigures' heads, torsos, and legs would line up at the same time... suddenly occurred to me, that it was exactly the real world sort of math problem I should be presenting to the children.

So, instead of making up the rest of the tubes, I left the supplies out for them, as a challenge to work out, on their own, while I was away at work for a few hours.  I told them they could work together in teams, or on their own, and ask for them to jot down the sequence of steps, what worked and what didn't, so we could compare their different methods for solving the problem.

To my amazement, I came home to find finished, and functional toys, complete with how-to instructions from each child (minus T, who was at work himself, learning about real world math in another way).  They might not have been arranged as neatly as I would have liked...

...and some of the how-tos were written out with a bit more haste, and with a few more spelling errors, than I preferred...

 ...but I was impressed to find that all the children from age 15 down to 7, had managed to puzzle out the problem on their own, and in their own way.

And now, we have a new set of toys I can enjoy playing with while the kids watch and re-watch The Lego Movie, this summer.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


jeannine: waddlee-ah-chaa said...

Fabulous how you turned your kiddos loose to figure out this project. I really like seeing their directions and their thinking.

Ticia said...

That's a great example of real math! We saw the Lego movie at the dollar theater and they had a giant version of it at the theater my kids had a blast twisting around and around.

Unknown said...

I-am-so-doing-this! My kiddos need extra fun challenges this Summer (and in the future) since I have recently been hired as the full time children's minister at our church. Since I am toting them back and forth with me often, activities like these will serve us well!

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

It's so neat that your kids are up to the challenges you pose, and it was a great challenge!