World War II.
WWII theme may span 4/6 weeks.
Lesson 1(/2): Introduction to WWII
Class discussion regarding prior knowledge of WWII. KWL chart completed on PP to record the children’s new knowledge afterwards.
Explain to children that we will be researching facts about WWII, completing draft pictures of areas/places involved in WWII and recreating these places in Minecraft Education. The children will be working in small groups to recreate the following places (but not limited to these. The children may suggest other places of interest to them) using Minecraft Education:
1. Liverpool, England: Anderson shelters in gardens, bombed houses.
2. Cornwall, England: Houses with black out blinds and showing rationed goods (food, make & do, repurposing items http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/categories/c1168/ ) including gardens growing vegetables/keeping chickens and cows.
3. France: The battle of Ramelle, saving a bridge from the Germans.
4. Paris: During WWII, Eiffel tower and surrounding area.
5. Berlin: The Brandenburg gate during military review including tanks and solders
6. Amsterdam: Anne Frank’s house during WWII
7. Normandy, D-Day landing: Tunnels and command posts, tanks, shooting towers, zeppelins, amphibious tanks.
Additional Minecraft Education work: Éiremarkings.ie,
Children will use notice boards/speaking parts and book and quills to populate their world with information and facts about their build and WWII.
The children will research and learn about the timeline of WWII and the major key events. We will discuss Ireland’s involvement in the war and what it means to be neutral.
Lesson 2: Research towns/cities.
Group work. Children work in mixed ability groups of three and begin their research. The children will use maps/google maps to find the towns/cities they are researching. The children will use primary sources of evidence (photos, written accounts) and secondary sources (stories and history books) to build their knowledge of WWII and its effects on the people in these towns/cities. They will use a rubric to help further their knowledge (e.g. number of people living in the town, city taken or managed to fight off the German advance, effects on the city/town,.) While the children are researching, teacher will pay music from the era of WWII (youtube/Spotify)
Lesson 3 Plan build
Continuing to work in their small groups and using the information gathered in the previous lesson, the children will begin to plan their Minecraft build on paper. The children will be given graph paper to help them plan the birds eye view of their project (teacher to give ratio of graph paper to Minecraft map) Further build details can be drawn on A4 paper. Groups will discuss what elements they will include in their build and conduct more research if needed (rubric will be provided by teacher to ensure children include all important aspects of their project such as buildings, chalkboards, people etc.) The group will plan Minecraft notice board arrangements and what facts and information will be written in them. Teacher will approve all drawings before they are finalised.
Lesson 4 Build in Minecraft Education
The teacher will host a Minecraft world and assign the children a section to begin their construction/building. Using their graph paper plan and drawings, the children can build their WWII buildings. Teacher will helicopter.
By completing the Minecraft project, the children will have learned to work collaboratively and further their communication skills and school-work relationships. The class will have discussed working collaboratively and what this entails. They will work collaboratively throughout the project, working on the rules of engagement, respect and encouragement.
Teacher will review the complete process with the children and listen to suggestions as to what worked and what didn’t work.
After this project the children will be encouraged to present their Minecraft constructions to other classes and teachers. Opportunities for integration include English (oral, written & reading), Maths, Geography, History, Art, Music. Further integration comes in the form of Drama (air raids, using rations/make and do) Gaeilge (tíortha eile) and maths (ratio, length, area), History (lives from the past), Art (WWII posters to encourage recycling & make and do), Science (sound, electricity).