Grand designs in Ancient Greece
How can LEGO help students to learn about Ancient Greek art and architecture?
'Grand designs in Ancient Greece' focuses on creating multimedia resources to encourage Key Stage (KS) 2, 3 and 4 (ages 7-16 years) and A Level students to develop their knowledge of archaeology and Ancient Greece. This has included students building LEGO models of real Ancient Greek houses and using their knowledge of daily life in Ancient Greece to write stories and to create animated storyboards and stop-motion films.
Created by Matthew Fitzjohn (Principal Investigator), the aim of the project is to seamlessly integrate learning about Ancient Greece with other subjects including English, Design and Technology, Science, Mathematics and Computing.
The project has been inspired by Matthew’s interest in digital humanities research, teaching methods and a love of small plastic bricks.
Devising teaching resources
This innovative project engages with teachers to explore and devise cross-curricular teaching resources based on Matthew’s research, including lesson plans and learning activities for Key Stage (KS) 2, 3 and 4 (ages 7-16 years) and A Level. Responding to teachers' needs we have created classroom activities and teaching resources involving LEGO and LEGO Education StoryStarter, LEGO Creator, SketchUp Make, and Excel.
The lessons on Ancient Greece are actively cross-curricula and bridge the gap between arts and humanities teaching and Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects, through play. The project is putting the arts into STEM teaching in order to build up a 'head of STEAM' in our classrooms.
The project in action
By thinking through and designing Classical floor mosaics using LEGO tiles and analysing the geometrical features of the architecture, students learn about Ancient Greek art and architecture. Through these activities they also tackle problem-solving maths activities that enhance skills of numeracy, measurement and comprehension of scale. The use of multimedia teaching and practical activities guarantee that lessons are of interest to all students of different ages, abilities, skills and interests.
The lesson plans, learning tasks and project reports will be available as online open-access resources that will have long lasting international impact in primary and secondary education.
How to build in LEGO...a volcanic rock house
Watch a stop-motion movie of our LEGO settlers at Naxos on Sicily, building a black volcanic rock house from the seventh century BCE.
Grand designs in Ancient Greece is an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded collaborative research project between the Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at the University of Liverpool and primary and secondary schools in Liverpool, Sheffield, Coventry, Worcester and Brighton.
Find out more
- Find detailed information about this project on the Research Councils UK website.
- Read a blog post that looks behind the scenes of the project.
- Visit the Grand Designs Facebook page.
- Contact Matthew Fitzjohn for more information.