Elf Needs a New House!

I have to tell you about this fun, collaborative, and engaging activity I recently tried with my AP Language and Composition students. I was looking for a new way to introduce the idea of persuasion. I was also looking for a way to incorporate cooperative learning, and LEGOS! I came up with the idea to have my students work in teams to build a house for an elf. Each team was handed 25 random LEGO pieces. They had to build the house according to 3 criteria: it had to be eco-friendly, convenient, and visually appealing. I gave them time to sketch their ideas then they began building. I told them they could trade LEGO pieces with other teams, if the other team agreed to do so. This gave me the opportunity to observe what kind of persuasive techniques they would try. As they worked, I jotted down my observations. The energy in the room was palpable. They LOVED this activity! The next class, teams presented their designs to the audience (the elf) and me. The class voted on which design was the best (according to the criteria.) I had them write a reflection on the activity. Questions included: What would you change about your design, and how was your team successful? What’s nice about this activity is you can use it to introduce persuasion and the common appeals, or you can use this after a unit on persuasion. If you’d like to learn more, click here!


1 Comment

  1. This is such a fantastic idea! I have used Legos in writing projects with my GT studens and presented on this at a recent conference. An upcoming blog will be on this as well! I just love that you do fun, creative stuff like this with your secondary students!


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