50StatesofLEGOMIOne of the joys (and time-wasting dangers) of the web is that you never know where an interesting link will lead. For me, today’s exploration involved LEGOs. It started when a friend sent a link to 50 States of LEGO, a creation of photographer Jeff Friesen, with LEGO scenes representing (naturally) each of the 50 states in the U.S. Of course I then had to explore his Brick Fantastic website, which led me to his scenes of Canadian Provinces and “Bricksy” scenes—a take off on the British graffiti artist Banksy. So clever!

This made me think that the process of creating the LEGO scenes for each state/province was a wonderful way to synthesize key concepts—and so, a fine potential performance assessment. Especially for those of you whose curriculum includes regions of the U.S. or Canada, finding a new way to demonstrate that knowledge can be a huge help in minimizing monotonous “reports” or presentations. And, of course, similar scenes could be used to present key information on books, historical events, etc. But not all students will have access to LEGOs.

legodigitaldesignerThis led me to explore online LEGO options, and discover LEGO’s Digital Design software. Digital Design allows students to design creations online and upload them to a Digital Gallery. Because the download is free, seems like a potential option for digital online assignments. What do you think? One issue may be the size of the file. When downloading I ran into troubles (and a zip/cpgz loop) because I hadn’t waited long enough for the zip file to download before trying to unzip it. Give it several minutes, even with a fast connection. But once it downloaded I was easily about to maneuver the bricks into all manner of creations. It seemed useful for class use, and any rainy afternoon at home. Take a look!

Finally, my LEGO quest led me to lots of interesting sites, but I thought I’d end with just one: a Huffington Post article that claims to present the 17 “Most Awesome” LEGO creations of all time. See if you agree. Then, perhaps, you’ll create something even more awesome!


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