Here is another great activity I heard about at the teacher in-service I attended last month. Lego therapy! Here is an excerpt from another site "Research has shown that during play therapy, Children learn to communicate with others, express feelings, modify behaviour, develop problem-solving skills, and learn a variety of ways of relating to others".
Of course I went to Target the next week and puchased 3 boxes of the small 50 - 60 piece Lego puzzles to do a little experimenting with my own kids. I explained to the kids what it was we were going to do. I explained each job title and the job duties of each of those people. I then assigned 1 box of Lego's to each table of 3 students and one staff. As you can see from the picture above
Each table consisted of:
A Supplier - He is in charge of the parts
An Architect - He is in charge of the plans
A Builder - His job is to build the model
And of course an aide who's job was to gently "guide" them.
Here's how it works:
The architect (he's holding the directions) is to explain the part he needs to the supplier (white flat piece with 4 dots) who then provides the part to the builder. The architect then explains to the builder where the piece needs to go according to the directions. Some of it really took some explaining and I think it's important that your architect be pretty social. My aides were only there to step in and inform one of them of maybe a better way to give directions to their group. I also put my lower boys as the suppliers as I am pretty sure they wouldn't have been able to do the other jobs our first time out.
It was amazing how much better the kids got as the time went on. It pretty much came to the point where my aides weren't having to speak at all. The kids were able to finish each of the boxes within about 40 minutes and were really proud of what they had built!
My plan is to do this every 2-3 weeks rotating the boxes in their groups and possibly some of their jobs. I love their team work and the fact that they are verbally having to relate to each other in order to finish the task. I am curious to see how it goes each week and how the are progressing. I'll keep you up to date.
Have a great weekend,