Critical thinking process using Legos

Building Blocks

An explanation of our critical thinking process using Legos

1 When you were a kid I bet you played with Legos. I used to have a box full of bricks and my favorite thing to do was pour out the bricks and see what jumped out at me. A door? I’d build a house. A tire? I’d build a car. I’d mix up the bricks and see if anything caught my eye, but I’d let the bricks tell me what to build. I wasn’t very good at it.

2 Some people would sort the bricks by color, regardless of size. They tended to finish a project because they were organized from the beginning.

3 Some people would sort by size, regardless of color. There are probably a million different ways to sort the bricks and everyone has preferences. None are wrong, but some methods might be a better fit based on what you want to accomplish, your experience, and your perspective.

4 Let’s pretend for a moment these 9 bricks stood out to you. After sorting bricks by size and color, they asked to be used.

5 You could build a simple wall with all bricks in vertical alignment.

6 You could make a wider and shorter stack using the same 9 bricks. Same bricks, different structure.

7 Perhaps you want something more interesting. Using the same bricks, we can build a different structure. Maybe a pen for the horses.

Regardless, the same 9 bricks can build a variety of structures. Same bricks, different outcomes. You decide the outcome based on your “vision” of the 9 bricks.

8 Back up and consider a different perspective… Imagine the Lego bricks (or building blocks) are actually the facts, key points, main concepts in each paragraph, etc. you would find in an article you read.

Basically, anything you would highlight while reading the material. If you took those notes and wrote them on paper, they might appear to be a jumbled mess, much like the Lego bricks here. If we want to do something with these building blocks, we need to organize them.

10 Let’s organize the building blocks by theme or category. If we use the materials in our Expectations and Objectives Module, our categories might be 1) expectations of the teacher and 2) responsibilities of the student. That’s one way to organize the information.