Building 1, 2, 3 is a fantastic game for adding tactile learning to numbering skills and interpersonal communication.
Using blocks and dice, students construct and then describe a variety of different shapes, objects, and buildings. The versions below can be introduced progressively as separate activities or they can be offered as options in learning stations around the room. Children can break up into groups and go from station to station to try out the different versions of the same game.
This is a great student-directed team building activity that allows students to explore different learning modalities and skill sets in teams.
Also the game can be easily adapted for either SSL or ESL.
Just remember to always teach in the target language and use TPR to describe new words. Never translate.
- Number concepts
- Interpersonal Relationships
- Fine Motor Skills
To review and employ number concepts using target language vocabulary and to demonstrate comprehension and fine motor skills by building various shapes, objects, and structures with blocks.
Large set of building blocks and dice.
Learning Station 1:
Build and Say
For younger children, Station 1 is focused on vocabulary accuracy and the fun of building.
- Have the children sit on the floor in circles of 4-6 and place a pile of blocks in the center of each.
- Each child takes a turn rolling the dice. The child reads the number on the dice and picks that number of blocks: “Dos. Tomo dos bloques.”
- The child creates a sentence such as, “Necesito (#) bloques,” or, “Tomo (#) bloques.”
- As each child takes turns, they accumulate blocks until the entire pile has been divided.
- Each student then builds any structure they desire. Building can be done during the dice rolling as well.
- After completing their shape, object, or structure, students count up their total number of blocks and describe their structure to the class: “Tengo diez bloques rojos, cinco bloques verdes, y cuatro bloques blancos. Hize un carro con mis bloques."
Learning Station 2:
Role-Play and Say
For more proficient students, Station 2 is focused not only on vocabulary accuracy and the fun of building but interpersonal communication and team work.
- Seat the children in a circle or group of circles on the floor.
- Give three (3) of the students titles: Thrower, Announcer, and Builder.
- The Thrower rolls the die and says the number.
- The Announcer tells the Builder what to do, “Toma un bloque rojo y ponlo sobre el bloque verde.”
- The Builder follows the instructions and then responds verbally, “El bloque rojo esta sobre el verde.”
- Next, three (3) more students take over the roles.
- In the end, ask students to describe their structure to the class using appropriate language.
Learning Station 3:
Build and List
Writing would be a perfect start to another round.
Each student creates a structure with the blocks while writing the steps, “Uno. Toma dos bloques verdes. Dos. Pongo uno arriba del otro.”
Learning Station 4:
Build and Draw
To add some art...
Provide an option for students to draw what they have created in their journals and then describe it to the class in the target language.
21st Century Station:
Snap and Share
To build 21st century skills, older students can take pictures of their constructions with cell phone cameras and upload to a fun image platform like Pinterest or Instagram where students can transform their images using filters.
They then write fun descriptions for each image and practice sharing images with each other.
If you have a class blog or Facebook account you can have students upload their pictures to those accounts and practice social media sharing of student created works.