Spending time engaging with building toys, from blocks to Brackitz, has dozens of proven benefits both at home and in the classroom. According to early childhood experts at NAEYC, block play builds problem solving and strategic thinking skills; imagination and creativity; self-expression, language, and social skills; self-esteem and confidence; and so much more. But the learning doesn’t stop with early childhood.
Engineering sets like Brackitz take things one step further, introducing and providing hands-on experience with STEM skills, principles, and vocabulary including gravity, symmetry, balance, stability, measurement, units, addition, subtraction, and more.
Plus, it’s fun! Students of all ages love building and it’s an easy activity to incorporate into any classroom schedule.
Classroom Lesson Plan Ideas Using Brackitz
With class-sized sets including planks, connectors, pulleys, cranks, wheels, axles, gears, sprockets, and chains, and dozens of free lesson plans for grades pre-K through 5, all aligned to Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, there’s definitely a Brackitz set perfect for your classroom. Just imagine your kids working on hands-on learning activities like the ones below.
Considering the size of a gingerbread man cookie, students brainstorm, discuss, sketch, then build correctly-scaled objects for your yummy friend! Think houses, playgrounds, gardens, and furniture. Reflect on the builds and discuss what worked and what didn’t and what changes students might make next time.
Free Lesson Plans for this Activity:
Two Wheels on the Cart
Challenge your students to design their own two-wheeled vehicles, then build them and test them. Discuss the advantages of two wheels over one, three, or four (safety, stability, balance, etc). Discuss where and how this vehicle might be used. Then move on to three and four wheeled vehicle builds and discuss the pros and cons of each.
Free Lesson Plan for this Activity:
From Here to There
Compare and contrast the effort required to move something by hand versus using a simple machine, like a pulley, with this interactive, hands-on science lesson wrapped around a fun, castle and moat theme.
Free Lesson Plan for this Activity:
You could also ramp up the fun with a simple machine challenge, test the stability of your student’s builds with an earthquake shake test, or go cross-curricular with a Brackitz build to support a historical structure or geographical landmark lesson.
When to Introduce STEM?
How soon is too soon to start students down the path to STEM? As early as possible, according to research! Recent studies suggest that block play as a part of early childhood education correlates with higher reading abilities and critical spatial skills and many schools around the country are working to make STEM a part of the core preschool curriculum. But we all know that wooden blocks, snap-together bricks, and building sets like Brackitz have been a part of early learning classrooms for years. Now it’s time to extend the learning – and the fun – with Brackitz in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms, libraries, and after-school programs everywhere! View the video below to learn about even more benefits of Brackitz in schools.
Want to get Brackitz for your classroom or program and try these activities? View our selection of Brackitz sets here, including the Inventor 100-Piece Set, Education Center which is great for classrooms, camps, and museum exhibits, and the Driver Set for early engineer to design and build machines that spin!