Building George Fox in LEGO
by Elise Bacon
New Paltz Meeting
Two years ago our First Day School consisted of six very active, LEGO-obsessed boys. We struggled a bit to keep them happily moving and engaged, but we felt strongly that we wanted a Quaker curriculum for them. Deciding to explore Quaker history that year, we began to search out a children’s book on George Fox that was appropriate for our age group(6–12 years). Nothing could be found. At this time, the boys had been devouring The Brick Bible—Bible stories told in LEGO—to the point that it was falling apart.
So the worlds collided and we hit upon the idea of creating something new—a children’s book about George Fox told in the language of childhood: LEGO.We worked from Quakers Courageous by Francis Margaret Fox. We read through his early life, made a storyboard, and set up the scenes that could be depicted in LEGO. Pooling our LEGO resources, we came up with quite a few pieces that were delightful to search through to find the treasures that would make up our characters, props, and sets.
The boys were very enthusiastic and looking forward to coming to FDS, excited about the next step, and cooperated and problem-solved together. We all learned much more about George Fox than we ever knew before and had fun in the process. Of course, there were weeks when we needed to do other activities or when FDS didn’t meet, so our process was slow, but it came together in the end.
As each scene was built it was photographed (on a phone) and uploaded to Shutterfly. Then text was added to create a 20 page soft-copy book. We were all thrilled to finally hold the fruits of our labors in our hands and know that we had created something that could be useful outside our small FDS circle. When we read the story to the adults in the Meeting, several commented that there were events and parts of the history that they had no idea about.
Our next book is on Margaret Fell, a woman whose support for Fox and early Friends was so critical that there would likely be no Society of Friends without her. And, so far, there are no children’s books about her. Another niche to fill. Our FDS would like to make our little book available to Friends and FDS throughout the yearly meeting (and beyond). If you are interested in a copy please email me, Elise Bacon.