Understanding how all of the parts of a fraction fit together to make a whole often mystifies young minds until they find a relatable concept that brings it all together for them. LEGO bricks are an easy way to introduce fractions to younger children and help them to understand this important math skill. They not only will benefit from the visual concept offered, but also the hands-on use of the bricks can help them to connect with the lesson. There are a couple of different ways how to teach fractions with LEGO and each is very effective for students.
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How to Teach Fractions with LEGO Using Colors
Put together some towers of bricks using several different colors. Duplicate colors in some stacks, while keeping one stack all the same color, and another stack all different colors. Choose the number of bricks per stack by the denominator that you’d like to work with. Ask questions about the stacks, such as “Which stack has 2/5 blue bricks?” or “What fraction of bricks in this stack is red?”
Allow them to create their own fraction stacks using the bricks and show them how they can add or subtract simple fractions using bricks of the same color.
How to Teach Fractions with LEGO Using Numbers
Help students understand fractions by showing them an 8-dot LEGO brick and help them break out the fraction using smaller bricks. Two 4-dot LEGO bricks can be used to demonstrate ½. 4 2-dot bricks will show ¼. Finally, single dot bricks will make up 1/8 of the whole brick.
Allow the children a chance to create their own simple equations using the bricks to show their work. It won’t be long before they’re ready to try larger bricks and more difficult fractions.
Expanding on Using LEGO to Teach Fractions
Once the basic concept of fractions is in place, your bin of LEGO bricks opens a world of possibilities. Children can use them as manipulatives as they learn to solve more complex equations using fractions. They can begin to explore even smaller fractions, as well as understand that sometimes larger fractions like ½ come in different sizes. For example, half of a 10 brick stack will look very different from half of a four brick stack.
Another concepts that they can begin to learn are that stacks of certain numbers can’t be broken up into halves or thirds. For instance, a stack of fifteen bricks can’t be evenly split in half, but you can split it three ways.
LEGO Bricks to Teach Math
Be on the lookout for worksheets and printables that can help you with ideas of how to teach fractions with LEGO. There are so many resources available for a wide range of skill levels.
Whether you’re just starting out with the basics or if you’re moving into more difficult fractions, you’ll find that these fun, colorful manipulatives will help keep kids engaged and make it easier for them to process these important skills and concepts.