October 7th, 2015
A fun hands-on activity for studying chemistry is to build a LEGO atomic structure, including the protons, neutrons, and electrons of each atom. Each of your atomic models will help to re-enforce the Periodic Table of Elements as you seek to find out how to build each one.
The LEGO atom at the top of this post is an Oxygen atom. The nucleus contains 8 protons and 8 neutrons. The protons are red, and the neutrons are black. The 8 electrons are blue LEGOs that are placed on top of white LEGO rings. The inner shell has 2 electrons and the outer shell has 6 electrons, making a total of 8 electrons.
The Neon atom has 10 protons, 10 neutrons, and 10 electrons. Go ahead and build the Neon atom, just as you built the Oxygen atom, including the correct amount of black, red, and blue LEGOs.
Continue to build more elements. The more elements you build, the more familiar you will become with the atomic numbers. Handling the LEGOs physically will help your tactile learners re-enforce the learning to make it unforgettable. You will need to have a Periodic Table of Elements open in order to build the atoms correctly. The atomic number is the number of protons and electrons in the atom, and these are always the same number. To find the number of neutrons, subtract the protons from the atomic number. Easy!
If you would like to build atomic models out of styrofoam balls or candy, take a look at this post:
For more posts about chemistry, check out my chemistry series, which includes fun demonstration videos for each hands-on activity:
Also check out the fun coloring book we used during our study to help familiarize ourselves with the Periodic Table of Elements:
I hope you enjoyed building at least one LEGO atomic structure!
October 5th, 2015
My son made a LEGO covered wagon out of regular LEGO bricks. This is a fun hands-on activity you can do with your kids when you are studying the Wild West. You can also combine it with a literature study of Little House on the Prairie.
My son made some log cabins out of red LEGO bricks attached to a green base. He stuck a horse into the barn, and he placed a chimney on the house. Next to the house is where he placed the covered wagon.
He started building the covered wagon by grabbing some brown LEGO bricks and placing four “wheels” on the bottom. Those wheels were really LEGO bricks with 2 bumps. Then he built the main platform on top of the wheels. This was in the shape of a rectangle. He placed a front seat on the covered wagon. It was another LEGO with 2 bumps.
The top part of the LEGO covered wagon was built out of white LEGOs in the shape of an upside-down “U,” with a row of 2-prong LEGOs along the top. Brown LEGOs attach the white canvas top to the bottom of the covered wagon.
Now your LEGO covered wagon is complete, and you can begin having Wild West adventures with your fun Wild West LEGO scene!
October 2nd, 2015
When studying the patriarchs from Scripture, you can have your kids create a scene of Abraham and Isaac in LEGO. One of the most poignant scenes in Scripture is when Abraham is commanded by God to be willing to sacrifice his son. He loved his son so much because Isaac was a miracle baby. Sarah and Abraham were beyond childbearing years, being 90 and 100 years old, so the fact that God did a miracle to enable Sarah to conceive made the pregnancy even more intensely precious.
We are told in Hebrews 11:17-19 that Abraham knew that God was able to raise Isaac from the dead because he was certain that God had promised that from Isaac would come a nation as vast as the sand on the seashore. Because Abraham trusted God, he followed through on the command, and an angel held back his hand. God provided a ram in the thicket. Abraham had previously told his son that God would provide the sacrifice.
Often we accidentally put relationships with people higher than our love for God. When this happens, we make that person an idol. This happened to me when my only daughter almost drowned at age 1. I was so close to rage at God that He would dare to take her away from me. In that moment I realized I loved my daughter more than God. I was shocked, but most parents have the same sin. God worked in my heart to build my love and trust for Him.
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of Me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. – Matthew 10:37 ESV
The other beautiful blessing that Abraham received was to understand what it was like for God the Father to sacrifice His Son, Jesus Christ, to save people from their sins. The agony of God the Father was experienced by Abraham, and understanding God is always a deep, incredible blessing!
September 30th, 2015
My kids have always loved playing with LEGOs, so 31 Days of LEGO Unit Studies sounded like a good series for me to do. We have come up with a lot of fun projects I’ve never seen before. My kids surprise me by building what we are studying out of LEGOs. They’ve had a great time learning many of their academic subjects over the years through LEGOs. Here are some of the LEGO creations we’ve put together over the years, and we will be adding to this index during the next few weeks:
31 Days of LEGO Unit Studies
- LEGO Playground
- LEGO Olympics
September 28th, 2015
When you are studying Ancient Rome, why not make an Italy cake? Kids always enjoy eating their homework, and what better way to learn geography than to have your cake and eat it, too?
Bake a chocolate cake in a rectangular pan according to the directions on the package. Let the cake cool by placing it into the refrigerator. Cakes are easier to cut when they are cold. Cut the shape of Italy out of a rectangular cake pan. You will need to look at a map of Italy to make sure you get the shape right.
Next you will want to get a cookie sheet. Place two pieces of light blue construction paper on the bottom of the cookie sheet to represent the water of the Mediterranean Sea. Put cling wrap over top of the blue construction paper so that the cake doesn’t soak through the paper.
Pick up the cake with a couple of spatulas (or with your bare hands) and place it on the cookie sheet. If you want, you can leave it like this. Otherwise you can frost the cake with green frosting. (Tint white frosting green with food coloring.) You can add other embelishments like mountain ranges with chocolate chips, rivers with blue frosting, etc.
Now you can enjoy eating your Italy cake!
To see more hands-on activities for Ancient Egypt, join the Unit Study Treasure Vault!