My kids *love* to build things – they are constantly playing with Legos and blocks and sticks and anything really that they can stick together and create with. Since they love building things, I am always on the lookout for ways to bring together their love of building with our other homeschooling lessons.
There is a lot of talk about STEM in schools, and including STEM work in your homeschool is as easy as giving the kids the right tools and encouragement to explore. We have an Intooba construction set in our home that I often bring out for lesson time (and free play time) – for this lesson, we combined the kids love of building with math practice for the day.
Addition Lesson Plan for Budding Engineers
For this lesson, you need a variety of building rods with connectors. We used the Orange, Yellow, Purple, Red and Green rods, and I gave the kids square and 6 hole connectors.
Assign each of the rods a different value. I labeled the piles of rods with their values.
Orange = 10
Yellow = 8
Purple = 5
Red = 3
Green = 2
First, I gave the kids time to free play. I had them build something using the numbered rods, and then when they were finished, I asked them to do the math and add up the values of each of the rods they used to find the total value of their creation.
Once we finished that, I started by giving them challenges. First, they needed to build a figure whose sum was 25. They could use any combination of rods and connectors, as long as the sum totaled 25. Little Miss went for the obvious solution, two orange rods, and one purple rod.
Then, I gave the kids more difficult challenges. Little Miss is only a Kindergartener, so this was a wonderful opportunity to have her work with her older brother. He was wonderfully patient in helping her count up the values of the pieces and decide which rods and connectors they should work with the build their creations.
I asked the to build a figure whose sum was 36.
I asked them to build a square whose sum was 12.
And a rectangle whose sum was 22.
I led this lesson for about 20 minutes, and before I knew it, Doodle was coming up with his own challenges for Little Miss, and she was coming up with new challenges for him. It’s not often that kids want to keep playing “math” but a building activity was all it took to get them to turn math time into play time.
Give this lesson plan a try in your home this week! And – enter our giveaway to win your own Intooba construction kit! We have so much fun with ours – the teacher’s guide contains engineering problems for grades K-6, so there is something for everyone!