I love walking into the TCEA Conference Center and seeing our green wall of LEGOs. (Fenway Park isn’t the only one with a Green Monster!) The icing on the cake is checking out the wall after an event to see what the building’s visitors have created.
But, of course, there is a BUT.
Before you build your ultimate wall of LEGO, check out these real-life lessons learned from our wall and the schools I have visited.
Lesson Learned #1
I would use the 15” x 15” gray plates as the base instead of green. Using the gray makes every color pop. Green LEGOs are one of the standard colors. If you have a green wall, you will lose that whole shade of green.
Lesson Learned #2
Make the wall as wide as you can. Not tall. Students can only reach up so far. Take advantage of bit of space that is available. Since you are designing for younger folks than ourselves, you can even extend the wall downward instead of up. Students don’t seem to mind bending over to place their pieces!
Lesson Learned #3
Use a rain gutter for the LEGO bricks. This was my suggestion for a third and fourth grade campus in Bullard, Texas. I love to say I left a little bit of my LEGO love in this east Texas elementary school’s STEAM Lab. Technology Director Lee Sleeper used a vinyl gutter after capping off the ends to store the assortment of bricks. Purchased at Home Depot, he then used vinyl gutter brackets to attach the gutter to the plywood. Using this type of storage gives easy access to search for the bricks and helps keep the pieces off the floor.
Lesson Learned #4
Sneak in a little LEGO vocabulary. LEGO bricks, plates, and beams have small, cylindrical bumps on top which hold the piece above it. These little bumps are called studs, and on top of each stud, you can find the word LEGO. There are 2,304 studs on one 15” by 15” plate. If you are very particular and picky (think OCD), make sure the words “LEGO” on the plate are facing the same direction. If you back away from the wall, you will notice the shading of the color is different. (This difference in color is noticeable with both gray and green base plates.)
The TCEA LEGO wall was built with the help of Diana Rendina’s blog, Renovated Learning. Her post How to Build an Epic LEGO Wall includes a time-lapse video and everything else you’ll need to get started.