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ALBACRAFT PROJECT

8-10 yrs old

History

Math & Economics

Reading and Writing

What if you could visit an antique Roman city made by pupils within a real museum, see its temples, its theater, its shops and meet its inhabitants ?

avatar Submitted By: Thomas Pagotto

November 1, 2018

Skills

  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Project Based Learning

External References

Museum internet site

This is the official site of the archeological museum involved in the Albacraft Project.

Video presentation (with "Lego Game of Thrones" trailer !)

This is the final result of our work. This video is airing in the archeologic museum every day !

Supporting Files

Microsoft education Article about the project


Learning Objectives

  • To get the pupils to adopt a metacognitive position, to put their learning process into perspective. Virtual or face-to-face exchanges among peers from other schools will lead them on this path, by encouraging them to take an objective look at their procedures and strategies in order to be able to communicate them to the other groups.
  • To enable the pupils to acquire or reinforce specific knowledge and skills expected in the core curriculum.
  • To make the pupils develop skills in collaboration, creativity, communication, critical thinking and problem-solving
  • To make them cautious and responsible users as well as content producers of digital tools.

Guiding Ideas

Firstly, the aim of the project is to reconstruct a digital Minecraft model of the antique Roman city Alba Helvorium using partial archeological information and working in cooperation with several schools and the museum in the village of Alba. The classes involved will have to communicate, collaborate and cooperate to achieve this aim.

With a co-educational approach in mind, we plan to work hand in hand with the museum which will play the role of a centre of resources and information  and will also be one of the places where the project will be exhibited.
Indeed, eventually a virtual visit of the digital model will be made available to the public via augmented reality glasses both within the schools and at the museum. This outcome is meant to give meaning and a sense of purpose to the pupils' learning process and to engage them into a meaningful task-based project and a real process of knowledge production.

Secondly, one of the main ideas guiding this project was to use a creative approach and design thinking :
Self-construction : making each person an actor and consolidating one's self-image, making each individual as well as the group involved in the community so that he/she can build himself/herself through his/her relationship to others.
- Knowledge construction : learning how to take hold of available information, how to identify what is useful, how to sort this information out, rephrase it to make it one's own. It represents an opportunity for the teacher to free himself/herself from the role of knowledge provider to guide the students in their own quest to appropriate this knowledge.

- Emotional construction : making the pupil more attentive and receptive until he/she can find interest in what he/she has just learnt. Feeling concerned  and curious is the first step to get involved which is itself necessary to get students to sustain their efforts when learning.
- Custom construction : considering the project as a gateway towards new practices, new habits which shake up the users' status or change how people see school.

Thirdly, not only is Minecraft an appropriate medium to get the students involved and interested, but it is also a rich pedagogical tool both to do inter-disciplinary work and to develop objectives specific to each school subject. Here is a non-exhaustive list :

History : studying the gallo-roman period in all its aspects
Geography : mapping, town planning, ressources, road links
Technology : inquiry-based method, materials, computer programing (within the game itself!)
Mathematics : surface areas, volumes, propotionality, scales, numeration
French : written and oral language, literature, documentary reading, drama
Art : modelling, architecture, frescoes, mosaics
Latin : idioms, phrases to be used in the game so the NPCs can explain how the different buildings were used with authenticity.
Civics : being involved, cooperating

Student Activities

Here are a few working attitudes we plan on adopting and the key-words which define them :
-    Peer-to-peer exchanges, sharing, offering mutual help, exchanging knowledge horizontally, reciprocity, network, emancipation.
-    Experimenting, creating prototypes, experimenting through a trial and error method as part of the learning process, drawing sketches and plans.
-    Participating, contributing to make the pupil less a knowledge consumer and more a knowledge producer, taking part of as much as being part of.
-    Imagining and creating together in a codesign approach so the project is enriched by different visions complementing one another.
-    Doing for real in real life and creating a continuity, a bond between school and the outside world.

The project is divided into several stages :

1)    Researching (September – October)
Documentary reading and writing + visits to the archeological museum in Alba to gather information about the antique Roman city and its buildings

2)    Dividing up the different tasks (September – October)
Each building will be allocated to a different class. The distribution will be negociated via written exchanges and in the end decided via a system of computerized votes.

3)    Drawing the maps (November – December)
Rochemaure primary school will make the global map of the city to a given scale. Each class will realise the map of its own building on a different scale and adapt the other buildings to this same scale.

4)    Making the models (January – February)
Each school will make a real model of its building using a specific material : lego blocks, cardboard, sugar lumps, wooden cubes... The pupils will have to take pictures of each step of the construction in order to make a timelapse video montage which will be used in the trailer of the project.

5)    Building the 3-D models in Minecraft (March – June)
Rochemaure primary school will be responsible for leveling the surface of the building site by programing a robot inside the game and for marking the place of the different foundations on the global map. Each class will then be in charge of building its monument and writing the script of the NPC which will present the building.

Throughout the project, classes will regularly write to each other either on paper or virtually  - including via videos - to report on their progress, share information and exchange on the difficulties they met.
Classes are meant to meet in person three times during the year, the final meeting taking place at the museum.

Performance Expectations

The following activities are meant to make the students reuse the skills and knowledge they acquired through the project :

-    The pupils must fill in a logbook, explaining the issues they encountered and how they solved them, and which skills they used to do so.
-    They will produce tutorial videos to help others achieve a similar project.
-    They will have to make a live presentation for the public at the Museum, including a display of the virtual city they (re)created. They will be able to explain how they worked, and  to give historical and scientific knowledge to the visitors.

Skills

  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Project Based Learning

External References

Museum internet site

This is the official site of the archeological museum involved in the Albacraft Project.

Video presentation (with "Lego Game of Thrones" trailer !)

This is the final result of our work. This video is airing in the archeologic museum every day !

Supporting Files

Microsoft education Article about the project