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

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


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About This Lesson

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.


Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.
Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify something that is not understood.
Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.
Ask questions to clear up any confusion about the topics and texts under discussion.
Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to clarify comprehension, gather additional information, or deepen understanding of a topic or issue.
Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories.
Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.
Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.
1 Reviews
This was the perfect build to do during Read Across America Week. My kids really love modifying the crane, so that's exactly what they did with this build. They love the idea of trapping the tigers in a cage. It was great for them to build on their knowledge of the 3 little pig build. I love tying in literature to the LEGO engineering projects. It makes it very manageable and is a great follow-up activity for any story. Great challenge! Would love to try another Dr. Seuss book next year!
November 27, 2017