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Lego Design: The Modern & Historical World (week 1) . The first week's worth of builds by the 8 & 9 year olds in my summer school class. The class runs 5 days a week, 8:30-3:00... that's a lot of Lego time! . Week One: Realms of the Past Build you name: Our very first build. A variety of white bricks were presented and we talked about the various names and ways of identifying them; 1x4 brick, 2x2 slope, 1x3 reverse slope, etc. Each student chose their own accent color for the base. This build provided a challenge in creating irregular shapes; there was a lot of talk and collaboration between the builders. (Tom's photograph was corrupted, sorry Tom) Microscale castle build: Each student was given an 8x8 stud plate and asked to experiment with building their own castle. This was mostly an exercise in getting to know where parts were located and experimenting with combinations. We also held a critique session on the castle in which the students were ask to talk about two things they liked in the build and two things they though could be improved. Tower challenge: Build the tallest tower you can using a variety of 1x bricks. It was interesting to see the students get ideas from each other and try new techniques. This was our first intentional encounter with SNOT (studs not on top). Castle Build: We studied castles and learned about their history and purpose; there was a long list of vocabulary words to learn. The students split into two groups and each designed their own castle based on the characteristics we learned about. I'm fairly certain their favorite vocabulary term was "murder holes" which were used to throw rocks down upon invaders trapped between the portcullises. The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: After a trip to the Oriental Institute Museum, and reading several books, both fiction and non-fiction, the students chose which of the wonders they would like to represent. Four students worked on the Statue of Zeus at Olympia... While the other seven worked on The Great Pyramid at Giza. Stay tuned for next week's installment... modern architecture.

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