Simple Machines Set

Make a Repeated Pattern

Make fantastic patterns and explore the world of symmetry and math.

45-90 min.
Years 2-6

1. Introduction/Discussion

Allow the pupils to interpret the worksheets for themselves, or read the MAKER connect text aloud to set the scene.

2. Find a Problem

Ask the pupils look at the connect images and questions, facilitate a discussion to steer them towards a problem. Once they have decided upon a problem to solve, ensure that they record it on their worksheet.

3. Brainstorm

The pupils should initially work independently, spending three minutes to generate as many ideas as they can in order to solve the problem. They can use the bricks from the set during the brainstorming process, or sketch out their ideas.

The pupils can then take turns sharing their ideas within their groups. Once all of the ideas have been shared, each group should select the best idea(s) to make. Be prepared to help facilitate this process to ensure that the pupils choose something that is possible to make. Encourage diversity, not all groups have to make the same thing. Encourage the pupils to share their learning process. Provide them with the opportunity to share their thinking, ideas and reflections using the documentation tool(s) they have available.

Possible Repeated Pattern Solution, for Inspiration
Note: You are advised not to share these images with your pupils.


4. Choose the Best Idea

The pupils must record up to three design criteria (three things their design must achieve) so that they can refer to it when they review and revise their solution.

5. Go MAKE

The pupils make one of the ideas using the LEGO Simple Machines set and other materials as needed.

Reinforce that the pupils do not have to come up with the whole solution from the start. For example, if they are making a motorised drawing machine, they could first explore how to draw simple circles before drawing more complex shapes.

During the making process, remind the pupils to test and analyse their idea as they go, making improvements where necessary. If you want your pupils to submit their documentation at the end of the lesson, ensure that they record their design journey during the making stage using sketches and photos of their models.

6. Evaluate What You Have Made

The pupils test and evaluate their designs against the design criteria they recorded before they started making their solution. They can record notes on their worksheets.

7. Present Your Model

Allow time for each pupil or group to present what they have made to the class. A good way to do this is to set out a table large enough to display all of the models. If time is short, two groups can present to each other.

8. Assessment

The pupils use the Maker self-assessment rubric to evaluate their design work. Each rubric includes four levels of achievement. The intention is to help the pupils reflect on what they have done well and what they could have done better.

9. Tidy Up

Ensure that you leave enough time at the end of the lesson to break the models down and sort them back into the LEGO boxes. You will need approximately 10 minutes to do this.

Teacher Support

After completing this lesson, pupils will have:

  • Defined a clear design need
  • Developed their ability to iterate and improve design solutions
  • Developed their problem-solving and communication skills
  • 9689 Simple Machines Set
  • Rubber bands
  • Sheets of plain paper
  • Coloured felt pens or coloured pencils

Pupil Material

Student Worksheet

Download to view and share the student worksheet.

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