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The project enables students to demonstrate their understanding of academic research through art.
In small groups, students recreate a New Kingdom Egyptian Temple out of Lego, demonstrating the function, architecture, and symbolism of it.
The "high ceiling" of this project is understanding the deep cultural significance of major temples such as Karnak which are a giant symbol and metaphor for the creation of the world, both at the first moment when the marsh rose out of the Nun, and every morning when the sun god Ra is reborn.
I usually give students one week (for me this means three 1 hour blocks) of class time to complete the building. Our school has a lot of Lego that teachers can sign out for class projects. It's sweet.
There is a decent History Channel documentary called "In Search of History: Karnak: The Temple of the Gods" which can give background. I use Karnak (the largest religious site in the world) to scaffold their learning before introducing this project. Harvard also uploaded a virtual tour of a digital reconstruction of Karnak onto youtube.
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