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Paul Barry Slack

The great James Fox

1. This scheme of work started when our former school principal visited the sixth class to give a talk on a former pupil of the school James Fox who was killed in action during the 1916 Easter Rising. The principal initiated the talk by asking the pupils what they knew about the 1916 Rising. He worked on their knowledge and instead of basing his talk on a national level he focused on how the Rising played out in Meath by looking at the Battle of Ashbourne and finally at the life of James Fox.

2. After the talk the class teacher split the class into groups and asked each group to work together in first retelling the story of James Fox. The teacher then discussed how they could recreate the scene of the shooting in St. Stephen’s Green. Old OS maps as well as old and new photographs of the area were distributed to the groups to discuss how they could incorporate this into Minecraft Education. A presentation of the GPO built in Minecraft was shown to the class at this stage. Each group were given a specific side of St. Stephen’s Green to design while another group were asked to design the Green itself.

3. Lessons 3 and 4 involved the children designing the build of the scene for St. Stephen’s Green in April 1916 on the Minecraft Education server. The teacher walked around the computer room ensuring all children were engaging in the build and giving help where needed. At various stages during the lesson the teacher paused the children on the server and asked them to view the overall work on the IWB screen. Each group was asked to share their work and how it was advancing. Feedback by the groups and teacher was also given.

4. Review

The children went back into their groups and asked them to dramatise the story of the killing of James Fox and how this could be incorporated into the build of St. Stephen’s Green. The former principal was invited back to the school to view the work and asked for feedback on the projects. The class also visited other classrooms to showcase their work in Minecraft Education.

English (Oral Language Development) Drama (dramatising the shooting of James Fox) History (Eras of great change and conflict) Geography (Using maps) Maths (Co-ordinates)

Collaboration was used during lessons 2-4 as the children worked in their groups retelling and dramatising the story of James Fox as well as their work in Minecraft where they were constantly giving feedback and problem solving their way through their work in building the finished scene in St. Stephen’s Green.