It's no secret that classroom transformations have become one of my favorite things to create for my students and the Construction and Lego transformation was no different.
Transformations make learning:
At the end of the year (and ten years from now) students won't remember the worksheets, but they will remember THESE moments.
The moments that you made special for THEM!
So why construction and legos?
I knew I wanted to do a phonics activity where students were going to build words and I knew that legos would provide the PERFECT building material!
They are easy to build with and the kids LOVE them!
Everything else was built off of that and we ended up with an AMAZING construction and Lego transformation!
If this is the first time you have read one of my transformation posts, here's a few things you need to know:
- I am currently a Librarian for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Grade
- I convinced my principal to let me run transformations through the library because it's less work on the teachers and it saves money by only having to decorate one space
- I set up the space and order the materials for my teachers
- I lead the lessons and the classroom teacher assists me
- I host one grade a day (10 classes for 30 minutes each)
How to Set up a Construction and Lego Transformation for First Grade
Creating the Construction Backdrop
The Construction backdrops were SUPER easy for this transformation.
I used rolls of black table cloths for the side walls and black and yellow butcher paper for the back wall!
I painted the yellow butcher paper to say “Under construction”, then we added yellow caution tape and a few “kids construction zone” signs.
The Construction Tables
I wanted students to feel like they were truly in a different space, so I wanted them standing at their tables rather than sitting like they would do in a classroom.
I covered the tables with the same rolls of black table cloth that I used for the side walls.
I learned the hard way that it's way better to cover each table individually. When you cover them together, they get messed when a table inevitably gets bumped!
Each table had all of the tools the students would need to complete their activities (including these super cute “toolboxes” that were birthday gift boxes).
I borrowed my son's Tonka toys to use as centerpieces and I borrowed extra orange traffic cones from a school storage closet.
The Construction Gear
Every student got to wear a plastic hard hat. These were too expensive to purchase for each student so we wiped them down with Clorox wipes in between classes.
We bought lego rings and bracelets as a “prize” for each of the students to take home after the transformation activities were complete.
I do have to add that giving the students rings and bracelets was a decision I would definitely do again! Well worth the investment!
Construction Transformation Activity #1: Building Words with Legos
All three grade levels (first, second and third) did an activity where they built words using Legos (megablocks).
Students had to draw a card, then write each SOUND (not letter) on a small mega block. Then students had to put the word back together on their big megablock that we called their “building block”.
Once students built their word, they had to record it on the recording sheet. After they built 8 words, they had to choose one word to write a sentence with.
First grade practiced CVC words, second grade practiced blends and third grade practiced vowel teams and suffixes.
Benefit of this Activity
First and foremost, students really had fun!
But I think students also really benefited from physically writing the sounds on the individual blocks. Several third graders tried writing their vowel teams on separate blocks and it was easy to show them how that was incorrect if you tried to sound it out that way!
For tactile learners, this activity is so great because the hands on experience helps them understand the concept better!
Construction Transformation Activity #2: Number Builders with Legos
First grade students also did an activity where they had to build numbers using number bonds!
Students drew a number bond card. Then students used the individual megablocks to build the two small numbers which told them what the large number in the number bond was.
I have absolutely no idea how I didn't snap any pictures during this activity, but it was so much fun.
The students loved (again) being able to actually build something with their hands which was great for our kinesthetic learners!
An added bonus is that this is another great activities to add to your daily stations after you are done! Students are already familiar with the instructions so it's less work on you!
Construction Transformation Tip #1 Prep Ahead of Time
One of the things that made this week of our construction and lego transformation so successful was how much prep work I did ahead of time.
I did as much as possible in the weeks leading up to our transformation. So much so, that the day of set up, all we had to do was hang the backdrops, wrap the tables and set out the materials.
I already had student materials sorted into their “toolboxes”. I had all of the copies made and ready to go!
Construction Transformation Tip #2: Step by Step Instructions
I learned with my first group of students that even though it took more time, it was worth it to go step by step with the instructions.
When word building, I showed the students a card and as a group we went sound by sound writing on our blocks and building it back together.
My advice is to give MORE instructions than you think you need!
Construction Transformation Tip #3: Extra Supplies
I've also learned through my different transformations that it's incredibly helpful to have a box of extra supplies nearby.
For these activities I made sure to have extra dry erase markers because they seemed to dry out super quickly.
I also kept extra pencils for when the others broke or were dull.
Construction Transformation Tip #4 Have an Example
I think another thing that made these activities run smoothly was having an example for students to look at.
I had an example on each table so it was very clear what my expectations were for the activity and what the finished product should look like!
(It also helped the students AND teachers to have the example lego printed at the top of the page.)
Amazon Purchases for a Construction and Lego Transformation
Here are the links to everything I used in the construction transformation. *Disclaimer: this post includes affiliate links.
Four photo/backdrop stands. Shop here.
2 Rolls of Black Table Cloth. Shop here.
1 Roll of Caution Tape. Shop here.
24 plastic construction hats. Shop here.
4 Bags of Megablocks. Shop here.
Lego Bracelets & Rings. Shop here.
Posters were printed on our school's poster machine.