Lego lovers are using the colourful childhood bricks to build a lifetime love of literacy.
Broome Public Library has tapped into the timeless popularity of Lego to encourage creativity and a passion for reading among its youngest members.
The obvious appeal of Lego to parents — which has helped maintain its popularity over generations — is the toy’s ability to foster creativity in young minds.
But the library’s Build Up Lego Club is also using the bright toy bricks to encourage children to improve their literacy and comprehension.
And it is so much fun, the kids do not even know they are learning while playing.
You can build anything with Lego; whatever you imagine, you can buildIan McLean, Broome Public Library Build Up Lego Club coorindator
Broome library technician and Build up Lego Club coordinator Ian McLean said training the brain to build a cohesive concept out of basic components was fundamental to “good literacy”.
“Literacy and mathematics are based on units. In literacy it is letters, in Lego it is little blocks,” Mr McLean said.
“You put those letters together in different ways that make different things,” Mr McLean told Jacqueline Wright on ABC Kimberley Local Radio.
Training the brain to build a cohesive concept out of basic components is fundamental to good literacy Mr McLean said.
“By doing that with Lego your mind thinks that way anyway,” he said.
Instruction manuals that are largely pictorial with a few written instructions can instigate early reading.
And Mr McLean attempts to channel the raw passion for Lego into the process of constructing a narrative.
“They all tell me about the work at the end, so they have to think of the story of what they have built,” he said.”
Children and their parents head to the Brome library weekly for the Build Up Lego Club.
“Each term they are set a challenge which involves reading an author, or a style of book or build the 13-storey tree house,” Mr McLean said.
As well as using Lego as a tool to improve literacy, Mr McLean admitted the little pieces of plastic have a special place in his childhood memories.
“I used to build cities, with schools and public buildings and houses and parks with swings,” he said.
“You have got to have somewhere to drive the matchbox cars.”
Lego appears to have bucked the trend in the digital age, which has seen the decline of traditional toys and books in favour of computers.
Lego was declared the world’s most powerful brandin 2015.
And this was another reason Mr McLean has brought Lego into the library.
“It is a demographic that you do not tend to hang on to in libraries — predominantly up to 12,” he said
“So it was a way of getting them in here to start with, and keeping them connected to reading.”
And it is not all games.
As well as simple engineering challenges based on shape, structure and balance, Mr McLean had the Build Up Lego club put their conceptual minds to the task of designing the town’s new skate park.
“The Shire were looking at what needs to be done with the skate park,” he said
“So I got the kids to build designs of skate parks, and the Shire came over and consulted with them over what they had built.”
Mr McLean said it was this adaptability of Lego that allowed for the toy’s success as both a game and a educational tool.
“You can build anything with Lego; whatever you imagine you can build.”
Texto original retirado do site ABC.
COLLINS, Ben. Lego lovers unite: Library taps into toy’s popularity to boost literacy, numeracy skills among children. ABC: 21 set. 2015. Disponível em: <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-21/building-literacy-and-library-attendance-with-lego/6792154>. Acesso em: 28 set. 2015.