LEGO, the line of construction toys created in Denmark in 1949, is one of the most popular brands in the world. While these bricks can be found in many classrooms of younger students, teachers are also finding ways to make use of this toy for teaching. LEGO has even set up an official education website with Lesson Plans.
Here are a few ideas that teachers can use to teach the Middle Ages with LEGO:
1. Castle Adventure
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis created a series of lessons plans from Grades K-6 based, which integrates Social Studies, English Language Arts, and Math. The unit is organized in layered learning experiences for Grades K–2, 3–4, and 5–6. The three-lesson sequence provides students with background knowledge about castles and the medieval era.
Lesson 1 sparks students’ interest and activates existing prior knowledge.
Lesson 2: provides factual information about the castle community and addresses misconceptions stemming from stories or movies.
Lesson 3: focuses on castle construction and sets the stage for the Culminating Experience, building castles with LEGO bricks.
2. Build a LEGO Trebuchet
There are a few sets of instructions on how to build a trebuchet with LEGO, including this one that uses 290 pieces, this version from WikiHow, and this set of images from Brickshelf.com.
3. More to Build with Lego
Here are a few more ways you can make use of LEGO bricks to create a classroom project.
A set of instructions from the official LEGO site to create a simple castle
Detailed guide to building a medieval village
Building a LEGO model of the Tower of London
Sturdy Wall – while not necessarily medieval, this lesson plan from might be incorporated into teaching about castle or city walls.
Medieval Market Street
4. Stop Motion Animation
Schools that have filming capabilities might want to try creating stop-motion animations using LEGO. Here are a couple of examples from class projects, plus one that shows how a professional can make use of these bricks to tell a medieval story.
The Battle of Maldon: The Lego Version