Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Everything is Awesome! (in class)

Outside of the simulation games I run, I don't write much about what I do in the classroom, but today, I ran an exercise that might be of interest to the regular readers of this blog.  I teach at a college prep school, and the recent long weekend was designated "College Application Essay Weekend," meaning that seniors were supposed to get their applications finished and we teachers of senior electives were not allowed to assign regular homework to seniors.

So, I decided to challenge the students in my AP Art History students to use Legos to design architectural spaces to house governments. One team was told to create a space for a republic to meet, and the other was told to create a space to house the seat of an empire.  For materials, my dusty old container of Legos was brought out.

Team Empire hard at work.

And Team Republic deep in deliberation.

The final entry for the Republic:  A natural amphitheater built into a hillside (hence the lunar terrain).  The speaker is under a sheltered platform, while the delegates cluster in the open, surrounded by allegorical images (the Sun, a Horse of the Old Ways, a flag, and, for some reason, Unikitty).

An enemy approaches the gates of the Empire. The gates hold back the equestrian might of the Empress, who built her power through conquest. A court of advisors can be seen to the left, clearly inferior to the roofed structure in which the Empress lives in seclusion.

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