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Title: Kilkenny’s Medieval Mile
Introduce the children to the planned project, which will recreate the historical buildings along Kilkenny’s Medieval Mile. Brainstorm with the children the historical buildings along this route and note all to be included in the project eg. Kilkenny Castle, Rothe House. Discuss the resources we could use to help in recreating the buildings in Minecraft eg. photos, maps, paintings. Put the children in their working groups.
Take the children on a walking tour along the Medieval Mile with drawing pads and camera. Take lots of present day photos or video and encourage them to sketch the buildings their group will be working with and draw the Medieval Mile route. A visit to the Medieval Mile museum and the library to look at old maps of the city will also happen. Have as many visual aids as possible for the next part of the project.
In a class group, the children will create a map of the route, decide on size and sections and agree where their buildings will be placed. When they are happy with how this looks, they will then disperse into their project groups. Here they will look at the style of their building and any notable features; the material used in building, the type of windows, doors etc. and draw their model. When the group have decided on the final design, they will then assign specific areas of the build to each member. (In this part of the project, time would be given to allow those not familiar with Minecraft experiment with building. I would pair them initially with a student who is confident with the platform.)
As the build progresses the children will work together to develop a full story of their building (Who lived and worked in their building?) including at least one non-player character (NPC) who can interact with a visitor to their world. They must also decide what to include inside their building and what items of information to write at Info points. While some may not want to build in Minecraft, they can be responsible for the insertion of points of interest on chalkboards or creating conversations with the resident.
The children will be asked what they have learned about the historical building in Kilkenny. Did they see features in the buildings they pass every day that they had previously never noticed? What worked well for them and is there anything they would do differently in their next project? In this project, the children work in the areas of History, Geography, Maths, Art and English. They would develop investigative and research skills, computational thinking and the skill of working collaboratively with a group of their peers. To mark completion of their work, pupils could present the finished project at a school assembly.