Puddle Jump Through Life With Us

Puddle Jump Through Life With Us

Flowing River of Blessings

The Crew

Review Crew

Become a Fan on Facebook

Twitter Followers

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Using LEGO Vignettes in education

I recently discovered a new phenomena - LEGO Vignettes! If you have heard of this, I'm sue you are jumping up and down with excitement to realize that I finally became aware, as LEGO Vignettes hold a host of potential in the education and parenting realm.

What is a Vignette: Well, generally speaking it is used in literature or entertainment to refer to a short sketch of the story - Or a snippet, as if frozen in time, for one scene. The term comes from the French word "vigne" which in English means "vine". Books used to have fancy decorative designs along their borders that looked like the tendrils of a vine. The two concepts somehow merged together over the years to form the word - "Vignette".

Now, where do LEGOs fit into this nice description? People who work with LEGOS figured out that these short sketches, or scenes from a book or movie, could be created using the popular child's brick-building toy. And, LEGO Vignettes were born. A LEGO Vignette is basically creating a scene, or shadow box style artwork, out of LEGOS.

Check out this blog dedicated solely to LEGO's and how to use them!

Great! So, what does this have to do with education?

It has a ton of benefit in teaching and learning, and not just for kids. There are grown ups who enjoy this art form. The potential use of LEGO Vignettes is limitless. Here's some ways to get you started:

1. Read a story to your child. At the end of a chapter, or at the point you see our child's eyes light up - Stop! Ask your child what they are picturing in their head. How do they think this scene, described in the book, would look? Now, go to town creating that scene out of LEGOS.

2. Instead of notebooking or lapbooking, or in addition to this, have your child build a LEGO Vignette of a historical moment. Using LEGO bricks can even be done by children too young to write. This could be a war scene, or a scene of Betsy Ross sewing the flag of the United States. It could be a church picnic, or a scene of Martin Luther King, Jr. or Abraham Lincoln giving their famous speeches. Anything historical.

3. Use the LEGO Vignettes with special needs kids. Depending on the learning challenge, or special need, sometimes a child can express himself through pictures or sculpture art, like a Vignette, when they struggle using words. By having them create Vignettes, you will get a glimpse into your child's world that he may find difficult to express otherwise. It's also a wonderful hand-eye coordination tool. For kids who struggle with physically picking up a LEGO, Or can communicate well but cannot physically maneuver the pieces, try the larger Duplo blocks or have them tell you how the design should look while you create it.

4. These LEGO Vignettes can work well in working through emotional struggles too. In play therapy, children are often asked to play with toys. As they play, the therapist can determine areas of concern in the child's life. Even if you're not a licensed therapist, a lot of communication can open up by using toys like this at home. LEGO Vignettes can be used in this kind of mode with a parent-child. Ask your child to build a scene of the happiest day they remember, or the saddest day. Use their creation to ask questions and learn how your child views life.

5. Since LEGO Vignettes typically include using LEGO figures, you can act out a lot of common social etiquette situations with your child by creating a Vignette and then making it "come to life" by using the figures to act out positive and negative social interactions with each other. The next time your child is in one of these situations, he will know how to act.

I'm sure I've just touched the surface of how LEGO Vignettes can be used. Check out this report on using LEGOs and some pictures of what others have done with LEGOS in their Vignettes - Pics from Flickr - Pics from Google Search. Then, think about it - How will you use LEGO Vignettes with your children?

1 comment:

  1. Hi
    Thanks for this post, it is a wonderful summary of the ways Lego can enhance education.
    We use lego to teach a number of things in our family, from multiplication onwards (not to mention it is great for spatially inclined kids).
    Vignettes are a wonderful way to create lego models with a purpose, rather than just freeplay and the examples you give are awesome.
    Thanks for sharing.