"Let go of my Lego"

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SWBAT use the engineering design process to a create Lego car.

Big Idea

Junior scientists use their imagination to create a Lego car. This investigation allows scientists to see that they can put items together to create some new product.

Setting the Stage

2-PS1-3 "Make observations to construct an evidence-based account of how an object made of a small set of pieces can be disassembled and made into a new object." In this lesson, students are given Legos in their groups. They are not informed what to create. The students should create a Lego car which is a part of our Cars and Ramps Unit. This lesson is important because the students are permitted to use their imagination to create a Lego car using smaller pieces to create a new object. This lesson help students to understand that assembled of smaller pieces can be assembled and disassembled to create a new object. 

Science and Engineering Practice

SP 6 addresses constructing explanations and designing solutions. In K-2, students learn how to construct an understanding of how to design solutions. In this lessons, the students are provided with Lego pieces. They are encourage to build an object with the provided pieces. I do not inform them that it will be a car. They are informed to use the engineering design process to support their understanding of how to design a Lego car. They use what they learn about cars to make a replica.

SP8 addresses communicating information or design ideas and/or solutions with others in oral and /or written forms using models, drawings, writing, or numbers that provide detail about scientific ideas, practices, and/or design ideas. Students collaborate in groups using the engineering design process to create a Lego Car.

Prior Knowledge: Students understand that force is a push or pull that causes objects to move. They also understand that motion is movement. Students are learning that force is needed in all science concepts.  Also, students learn that cars are used in their everyday lives and that force is applied to help a car function.

Junior Scientists:

In my class, my students are called Junior Scientists. They wear lab jackets they created early in the school year to be worn during experiments. I call them junior scientists to encourage them to major in Science and Math related careers. I want them to develop a love for Science and Math. Also, we sing "It Is Science Time" or "I Got A Feeling Song" before each lesson.

Teacher note:

Cars and Ramps Journal

Students are provided a Cars and Ramps journal. They record their learning experience in their journal book. The "Cars and Ramps" journal is used throughout the entire "Cars and Ramp" unit. The journal helps students showcase their learning and to supports their writing skills. The parents read their book, at the end of the unit to promote parental involvement.



10 minutes

At their desks, students sing a song at the opening of each science lesson.  This song motivates and engages my Junior Scientists at the beginning of each science lesson. During science lessons, I call students scientists to empower and encourage them to become dreamers and doers.

“I Can” statement

I call on a student to read the “I Can” statement for the day. Using an over-sized microphone, a scientist says, "I can use the engineering design process to create a Lego car." Reciting the “I Can” statement motivates the students to engage in the science investigation because it allows the students to take ownership of the lesson.

Students are asked: What can be taken apart and put back together into a different form? I ask students this questions to activate their thinking around 2-PS1-3, "make observations to construct an evidence-based account of how an object made of a small set of pieces can be disassembled and made into a new object."  




20 minutes

My students proceed to their group tables when I say "We Are On The Move" and they stand and sing, We Are On The Move. This routine helps my students move to their table with very few distractions. This also helps my auditory learners who enjoy singing as well as my kinesthetic children who enjoy moving.  

When students get to their tables, they begin to assign group roles: a person to lead, record, measure, and report. I assign the leader who is one of my advanced students who possesses, leadership qualities. They put on their group labels with a clothes pin to ensure that I know each child's role.  Students are grouped by abilities to support students’ learning. I want all my students to take ownership of their learning, so assigning roles permits students to develop confidence in their roles while using their strengths to accomplish their group's goals.  All hands must be on deck.  The groups are reminded of the group rules. The group rules are located at their table so they can reference them.

The Engineering Design Lab sheet is located at their table. Scientists use lab sheets to record their information and to assist with their investigation. Therefore, the lab sheet helps students begin to work and think like a scientist with very little guidance from me.

Groups are encouraged to observe the materials at their tables. They ask questions about the materials that they see. This helps with the 1st step of the engineering design process: ask questions. They record at least 2 questions on their sheets. I  provide the students with 5 minutes to assist with staying on task. I permit some groups to share their questions with the whole class.

Students are informed that they are going to complete the engineering design process. Students are informed that they must design a model using the Legos. Groups are encouraged to imagine (3rd step) what to design by discussing it in their groups. They are reminded to respect everyone's voice. Then the students sketch their design (4th step) on the lab sheet. Once they have sketched their design, I inform groups to show me their design so I can approve their model. Once they receive approval, they can create their design.

I give the the students 15 minutes to create their design. I activate the timer. It is important that students have no idle time. 


Lego Car-video

Let go of my Lego-Student Work


10 minutes

Students return to their desks and groups to present their creation.  After the groups present, students share advice with their peers such as: what could be improved?; what could be done differently?; what did you like about the group's design?

Once each group shares, students are informed they can return to their area to make improvements.

Students are then called back to the carpet to share their final creations. 

At the end of the lesson, I collect student lab sheets to make sure that they followed the steps such as: ask questions, sketch and draw their design, and make improvements (if necessary). Also, I observe the group's Lego car to ensure compliance.

I also pose this question to students: What did you use to create your model? What would happen if you take the pieces a part? Could you create something else with the pieces? These questions are asked to ensure that students understand how objects assembled of smaller pieces can be disassembled and made into a new object. 

Cars and Ramps Journal

In the students'  Cars and Ramps journal, they are to answer the following question: What did you create with the Legos? How did the creation work?  Also, I inform the students to discuss their investigation. I take up the students journal to make sure that they had address the question and if they discuss their investigation.

 Cars and Ramps Journal-Student Work

Cars and Ramps Journal-Student Work