Construction club

Construction club is a rule-based system encouraging students to communicate with one another and solve a problem by building in groups, according to set rules.

How it’s done!

1. Set the ground rules

Students suggest and agree upon simple rules that everyone understands.  The group agrees upon a project that is not too easy and not too difficult.  The rules are kept visible as a reminder.

2. Assign the roles

You will need at least 3 students in the group.  Each student is assigned a specific role in the project and roles should be rotated through the group during the project:

  • Engineer: has the plans and gives the instructions
  • Supplier: has the construction equipment
  • Builder: is responsible for building

Adult’s role is to facilitate the session

  • Highlight the presence of a problem and help children to come up with their own solutions
  • Model and reinforce social rules based on the needs of the children
  • Resolve conflicts by redirecting the language encouraging them to negotiate and compromise disputes.

The team works together to assemble the project with an emphasis on verbal and non-verbal communication, joint attention, task focus, collaborative problem-solving, sharing and turn-taking.

Once the students are familiar with the roles, to make the task harder, try removing the roles and letting the students negotiate and collaboratively complete the project.

(You need a group of 2 to 3 students and you want them to be similar in age and similar personalities. If your group is bigger than 3 students you can split them into smaller groups.)

3. Get building!

You can use pre-created instructions (LEGO websites, blogs etc.) or create your own using photos (iPad is the easiest way). The instructions can be simple or complex, this depends on the children you’re working with. Try to select builds that will be motivating for the children. Use a range of resources: LEGO, DUPLO, Marble Run, Baking, K-nex, anything!

You can build something big over a few sessions or something different each session.

4. Have fun!

We learn more when we are having fun.