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Vanya commented on The Electronster

You have actually hit upon a gem of insight in your research & testing unlike the other ideas that I have read.

The idea of destruction as a learning tool is brilliant. Because when tasked with destroying you can literally do it however you want. So even if you are low in confidence and are frightened of standing out both from failure or achievement, by taking something apart you can do no wrong. And just like building you can destroy as a group, and as we all know when you achieve something alone its great but when you achieve something as a collective it is absolute euphoria.

It is also very creative. Like you mentioned above kids go about destruction very tactically, learning as they progress. Going from smashing to surgically removing parts and maybe even organising?

People who have commented are also right to suggest some kind of controlled mechanic to go together with the old components ...

Here are my two cents for a lesson plan:

I’m going to use a slightly different example, and use LEGO as a tool. Just so that we all know what it is and how it’s used. But you can use anything. However it does have to be some mechanic to house parts, that can be taken apart and re-built and be universal.

Imagine this, a class of 20 children divided into groups of 2.
In front of them, is a big model of the Eiffel Tower built out of yellow bricks.

Step 1: Destroy the Tower.
Maybe even add a creative twist here, where the kids have to make up stories of how it was destroyed. Monsters, aliens, earthquake whatever. But it has to go!!! AAAAGGGHHH!

Step 2: Copy and Learn
You present to them with another, IDENTICAL tower this time out of blue bricks. And task them to rebuild the one they destroyed using the other tower as a guide. Tell them they are free to take the other tower apart too, so that they can see how the different parts connect.

Copying is the strongest learning tool we have, and though this exercise they will familiarise themselves with the parts, but with not direct pressure to be ‘creative’ while at the same time building and completing a task. Watch how the kids will organise tasks themselves, who will build, who will organise. Will they do it in stages or from the bottom up?

Mentoring will be key here to help them through the process.

Step 3: Creating.
You now present them with a box of green bricks. The number of bricks is exactly the same as both of the towers. So they could, in theory build another one. But what you will ask them to do is to build a freestanding tower using the same number of bricks, but by deciding how it’s going to be different? If it is going to be higher, or wider, is it going to have protecting against the aliens etc?

Here is when you will have some friendly competition between different groups, as the kids will be at their most confident and creative because they have been through the process already.

Step 4: Presenting & Sharing
Now all the kids have to do is tell us their story. Who destroyed the fist tower, what helped them rebuild the second one and the story behind the third and final tower.

You can take photos, record the presentations and share them all around the world.


If the tasks are the same world over. ie the same tower etc. That will give you a digital platform to share and explore what other people have built and why.

You can have different levels by adding more complex components.

This way it wont be just images of ANYTHING, they will be creative solutions to a particular brief. But the brief they wright themselves after learning the skills needed.

Throughout the process you can also weave in other skills, interests and lessons. You can tell them about the tower the are re-building, you can use simple mathematics by making them measure buildings etc.

Also for the teacher, they have built you a tower to use for the next group of kids.

Peace x