Students across our division have been building Jamestown this year — in Minecraft Edu. Our ITRTs discovered a lesson on the Minecraft Edu site, Jamestown Settlement, written by Trish Cloud. It’s a fabulous lesson where students simulate what it was like for the settlers by playing Minecraft in survival mode. The students spawn on a ship, row to shore, and find what they need to build the settlement — all while staying alive.
While we loved this idea, we were pushed for time and needed to simplify the lesson to help those students and teachers who had not played the game before. We also adapted it to the Children’s Engineering Design Brief framework. Check out our adaptation here: 4th Jamestown Minecraft Design Brief
Our students played in creative mode but had limits on what types of materials they could use to build (only those that would have been available to the settlers). The kids build amazing Jamestown forts, and we loved hearing the conversations that arose as they worked together.
In the end, students recorded tours of their forts on Flipgrid using an iPad. We shared the Flipgrid district-wide so they could see all the other ways students built Jamestown.
Check out a video on Accent Excellence about the Jamestown Project at Herman L. Horn Elementary.