STUDENT REPORT: How I Learned About Art & History By Building with LEGOs
A few years ago, I got my first LEGO set for my birthday. At first, I didn’t know what to do. But after learning how to build the set, I really got into LEGO! Building with LEGO bricks became what I did all day, every day. Now, you can ask anyone who has known me for awhile: I love LEGO. I used to build with LEGO bricks alone, but now it’s me and all my friends. Besides helping me make friends, LEGO has taught me more about history and art.
Not long after getting my first LEGO set, my mom took me to my first Brick Fair, a LEGO fan event, in Edison, New Jersey. There I saw my first MOC (pronounced mock) built by Brickmania, a popular LEGO artist in my area. MOC stands for My Own Creation. MOCs are when people build things out of LEGO bricks that don’t have directions. They build MOCs from their own brains. I really enjoyed seeing all the talented LEGO artists’ MOCs. My favorite type of MOC were the historical MOCs, especially of battle scenes. I like them so much, I started to make them.
When I got home, I started MOCs that replicated moments in history. Making these MOCs has inspired to learn as much as I can about history, so I can build historically accurate MOCs. Currently, I’m working on a large MOC on the Battle of the Somme, an important battle on the Somme river in France during World War I.
Through building MOCs, LEGO has helped me learn a lot about history and how to be a better artist. History is important to learn because the only way to improve the future is by learning from the past. If you want the kids of today to make a better future for everyone, they first have to know the problems of the past. LEGO helps me learn by making learning about the past fun and letting me show what I learned about history in an artistic way that hopefully inspires others to learn along with me. My goal is to my Battle of Somme MOC as cool as possible so I can inspire the next wave of kids like me to become historians and even artists.
Being a good artist is important to making good MOCs because you have to tell a story to people without using words — the way you arrange your LEGO brickss has to tell the story. I take great care to make my LEGO MOCs tell the story of the battles I learn about.
Consider challenging your students to make a MOC next time they learn something in your class. Not only will they be able to show you what they’ve learned in a fun way, you’ll be helping them become a better artist and historian, too.