David and Goliath Lego Adventures at Homeschool Coop.
We had a great time learning about robotics, physics, faith, and retelling a story using Legos at homeschool coop.
I chose the bible passage of 1 Samuel 17 for our lesson. This bible passage is about David going to visit his brothers who were in the Israelite Army. They were on the front lines in a battle against the Philistines. The Philistine Army had a warrior named Goliath. He was a giant of a man standing very tall and he was very strong and covered in metal plated armour, and no-one could defeat him in battle. He often said bad things to the Israelite Army and made fun of their God. He challenged them to a fight and if they could defeat him, his army would be their slaves, but if he defeated the Israelite who fought him, then the Israelite Army would be the slaves of the Philistines. David overheard this challenge and the horrible things Goliath said against God. David saw that everyone in the army was afraid, but he was not afraid and knew God would help him defeat the enemy of Israel and the enemy of God. David accepted the challenge to fight Goliath. He trusted in the Lord to help him. He chose five flat stones from a river bed and put one of the stones in his sling, swung it around, and let the stone go into the air. He had learned to fight off animals like wolves, lions, and bears that tried to attack his flock of sheep so he was very good with the sling shot. The stone hit Goliath in the forehead and killed him. David had trusted in God to deliver him from Goliath, and he defeated the enemy of Israel and the enemy of God.
The kids used Lego’s to retell the story. We also set up a robotic Goliath with Lego WeDo. The Goliath robot is built with Legos, pulley gears, worm gear, lever, motor, axle, and movable joints. The kids programmed the computer software program to tell Goliath to stand up and to sit / fall down. They can time his movements and change the speed, as well as program sound effects. They had Goliath stand up and growl his threats to the Army, programmed the sound of David, and his stone hitting Goliath, and then also programmed cheering by the Army after Goliath is hit with the stone and falls forward. It is really neat how you can program sound effects to go along with the robot’s movements.
Everyone took turns manipulating the computer software and retelling the story with Legos. They also take apart the giant and rearrange the location of motorized lever attachment to learn how placing this in different positions, and rearranging the software commands caused the giant to move (or not move). They could re-engineer the set up and try out different ideas. They also completed a coloring page about the battle between David and Goliath and a vocabulary word puzzle.
We also did some physics science in the gym. We used rubber bands for sling shots. We used a large basket placed several feet away on the floor as the target. We took different kinds of balls (cotton, pompoms, foam, and rubber) to learn what materials would be more accurate to hit a target. The kids learned about trajectory, mass, stored energy, kinetic energy, and how to aim at a target. They learned that the more dense their ball was, and the further back they pulled their sling shot, the better and faster the object was able to hit the target. The kids also spent time playing in the gym. They played basketball, tag, hide and seek, and raced each other all around. The gym is such a great place to do a variety of learning, skill building, and physical activities.
Logos are a great teaching / learning tool that can be used in so many fun ways. I love teaching and learning with Legos. I have taught Lego and Robotics Academy Club and several workshops with homeschool and 4H kids in North Carolina for several years, and I have missed it terribly since moving last summer. I hope in the near future I will be able to host Learn It Build It workshops again in the community, and also start a Lego and Robotics club again and perhaps eventually have teams that can compete in First Lego League. But right now, started a new class called Lego Adventures and I am blessed the local homeschool coop has invited me to teach these great kids, and we can learn about science-technology-engineering, and robotics, and use bible stories to build their faith in the Lord. Be sure to check back each month for more Lego Adventures.