Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Kids' Contributions

As a follow up to Monday's post I want to publish some pictures of some Lego creations from some very surprising kids. 

I have written before about the "gifted and talented" class I am helping with two mornings a week at the local elementary school. The same school where I work in the afternoon. 

The name of the class describes the academic abilities of the kids who are part of it. There is a class for 5th graders and one for 6th grade. They take place on Wednesday and Friday mornings, respectively. 

Each week for the last couple of months the students have been working on educational Lego kits that will eventually conclude with them adding motion to a Lego model through a computer program. 

The kids are very excited about this destination but not so much with the journey it's taking to get there.  

This past week I decided that they needed a bit of a break from following the instructions of the kits. I took all my Lego bricks and specialty pieces to the class. I thought perhaps it was time for some Lego free styling. 

I gave the 6th graders free reign to create whatever they wanted to make. They only had about 25 minutes from concept to completion but they did pretty good. Here's a couple of the results.

This model represents the US flag that was planted on the moon. In her defense, the student who made this didn't have time to make any more details. 

This next model is quite creative and one that impressed me because I secretly wish Lego would create an actual model of this historic icon. 

This is a Lego sculpture representation of "The Titanic." It's rather abstract but it really does represent what it's suppose to. 

I was really proud that one of the students in my class came up with this very piece creative of art. 

For the 5th grade GT class I decided to give the younger kids a bit of a challenge but with a purpose. 

I gave them the same conglomeration of Lego bricks but made them choose one of a variety mini-figures. 

I instructed the groups of 3 they needed to choose a figure and build a setting for them. Here's what they came up with. 

A bullpen for baseball pitchers. The group that made this model wanted to build a baseball infield but couldn't figure out how to do it. They sort of struggled with coming up with an an alternative idea. They did their best. 

This is an overview of a model that's a scientific research lab. One of the mini-figure scientists is working with a cart of beakers and the other (upper right) is adjusting a monitor. I thought this was imaginative and really well thought out. 

This model of a farm was inspired by a scarecrow mini-figure that, ironically, is not in this picture. The cow that was added an afterthought is. The vehicle is a tractor that is store in the red barn. 

Out of the four models put together by the 5th graders this one impressed me the most. The starting point for this scene was the mermaid mini-figure facing to the right near the top of the "ocean". 

The 3 young ladies that made this were very good at coming up with details. I'm not going to describe each aspect or enhancement but take some time to take in creative detail of this model. 

The last "kid contribution" I want to share is one that made me smile the most. It was a gift from a pair of kids who are part of the group that I care for in my "after school" job. 

In case you can't derive from the writing on the bottom left of the pictures, they are gifts from Hayden and Nathan. 

I have known Hayden since she was a toddler and Nathan is a kindergartner that I only know through the school. 

They don't normally play together but yesterday they paired up and made me these drawings. What is sweet about the pictures is that the kids purposely made the objects to look like they were made of Lego bricks. 

I am very touched by their thoughtfulness. The pictures are currently fastened up on my dry erase board with souvenir magnets. They will be there for a while cause I really like them. They make me smile. 

Now more than likely, none of the things pictured in this post will make a big difference in the lives of the kids who made them. By next week, they probably won't even remember making them. 

But they make me feel very good about the things I'm doing with the kids at the school. At least I feel like I'm making some kind of connection with them. That makes what I do worth it. 

So to all the kids who had a part in the creativity display above I say "thank you" for your contributions. They made my week. 

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