Saturday, June 15, 2013

Lego: Writing and Following Directions
Informational Writing - 
CCS: RI 8.4; W8.2

Students often think that following directions are super easy, but we find out just how difficult it can be with our informational Lego Direction Writing Activity.

First we look at vocabulary. Words such as
Horizontal
Vertical
Adjacent
and other spatial words they may want to use. I encourage kids to use the vocabulary in their directions, which embeds the meaning and puts it into practice.

Step One: Each partner group chooses about 15-20 legos and together plan a design.
Step Two: Write your design building down step by step. I encourage one to build and feed direction to one writer.
Step Three- Once finished, you will take the lego design apart (I take pictures of the designs to show the direction designers' version compared to the builders' version)
Step Four- Give the pieces and the written directions to a set of builders.
Step Five- The builders attempt to use the directions to build the Lego contraption as it was originally built.
Step Six- Once built, the designers give feedback if it is incorrect and builders attempt to get it correctly built.
We compare pictures of the two after the second (or third) attempt. 
Step Seven- The builders write feedback on the directions sheet- what was easy, hard, what information was missing, etc. and they give the Lego contraption and their feedback to the original designers, who then reflect themselves on their directions: what was easy about writing directions? What was difficult? etc.

We compare pictures of the two (original and builders) and as a class discuss what was difficult about writing and following directions.