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LEGO Education WeDo - Dr. Seuss "If I Ran the Zoo"


Build something to keep the tigers in their cage. 

Dr. Seuss

The Engineering Design Challenge:

Help! The tigers got out of the zoo! Modifying the crane build, and using the schema from our 3 Little Pigs house build, you can choose to create 1 of 2 things:

  1. Build a device that will prevent the tigers from getting out.
  2. Build a device to help carefully catch the tigers.


  • LEGO WeDo/Resource Kits
  • Computer
  • If I Ran the Zoo Book
  • LEGO design planning sheet
  • Tiger (small LEGO person-use LEGO pieces for this)

Engineering Concepts:

Students will follow the engineering design process using schema from previous builds such as the crane and 3 Little Pigs house to create a solution to the previously stated zoo problem. Students will make a build, test their build, modify their build and then write about their conclusions.

Integrated Concepts:

This lesson can be integrated with literacy and Read Across America week, through the story of If I Ran the Zoo. Writing can be integrated throughout the lesson as students plan, describe, improve and modify their design. At the end of this lesson, students can write a new ending to the original Dr. Seuss story of If I Ran the Zoo, describing how the tigers escaped the  from their cage or how they were caught.


The objective of this activity is to work with a partner to choose a design to 1. Safely contain the tigers in their cage or 2. Safely catch the tigers after they have escaped. Once you have finished reading the book to students, pose the challenge to students that they will be using their knowledge of different LEGO builds to modify them and then choose which build they want to make. Let them know that for this challenge, their device must safely hold the tigers and it can only use items from the LEGO kits. Once you have given students the challenge, let them plan their design using the engineering planning sheet. Encourage students to discuss and plan their builds together, write them down, then build and test them.

 After they have tested their devices and are satisfied, they can re-write the story based on which build they chose.


July 10, 2020