A complete program which provides PDF handouts and links to online resources.
Australian Curriculum Human Rights Links 7-10
Year 7 Civics and Citizenship Australian Curriculum:
How Australia’s legal system aims to provide justice, including through the rule of law, presumption of innocence, burden of proof, right to a fair trial and right to legal representation (ACHCK050)
How values, including freedom, respect, inclusion, civility, responsibility, compassion, equality and a ‘fair go’, can promote cohesion within Australian society (ACHCK052)
Year 8 Civics and Citizenship Australian Curriculum:
The freedoms that enable active participation in Australia’s democracy within the bounds of law, including freedom of speech, association, assembly, religion and movement (ACHCK061)
Year 9 Civics and Citizenship Australian Curriculum:
The key principles of Australia’s justice system, including equality before the law, independent judiciary, and right of appeal (ACHCK078)
Year 10 Civics and Citizenship Australian Curriculum:
The Australian Government’s role and responsibilities at a global level, for example provision of foreign aid, peacekeeping, participation in international organisations and the United Nations (ACHCK091)
How Australia’s international legal obligations shape Australian law and government policies, including in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ACHCK093)
Minecraft is a down loadable game from the Internet that costs around $40 for one license for a PC, there is a free iPad app (very basic, can’t save but good for learning on) or a $7.49 app for iPad (Phoebe assures me it is not as good as the online version but not bad).
What is Minecraft? Wikipedia explains Minecraftas an open world game that has no specific goals for the player to accomplish, allowing players a large amount of freedom in choosing how to play the game.The game world is essentially composed of rough 3D objects—mainly cubes—that are arranged in a fixed grid pattern and represent different materials, such as dirt, stone, various ores, water, and tree trunks. Players can gather these material blocks and place them elsewhere, thus allowing for various constructions. The game primarily consists of two game modes: survival and creative. Unlike in survival mode, in creative mode, players have access to unlimited blocks, regenerate health when damaged, and can fly freely around the world.
I’ve actually never played Minecraft but we do have an account that Phoebe and Lucy use. The more I watch the girls build and create worlds the more potential I see for use with students. Without any personal experience using the game my first thought is to use it to engage students to design and build historical locations, buildings, statues and artifacts. It would be a brilliant tool for this purpose. Click here to visit a teachers example of how he used it in an Ancient Greece unit (see photos of the student’s structures). Another use could be to design scale models. As everything in Minecraft is built with blocks students could convert measurements into blocks and replicate an object i.e. a building (Phoebe worked out to scale the height, width, lengths of arms and legs etc of one of her dolls in blocks to recreate it in minecraft).
If you where looking to engage students in learning I think this would be an ideal tool. Of course their are many blockers to using something like Minecraft to engage students and the list probably looks something like this:
It costs money.
I don’t know how to use it.
It will be too much extra work to organise it.
I don’t have time to learn something new at the moment.
It looks great but it is not for me.
and so on …..
But also consider:
There will be a child in your class who can show others how to use Minecraft (give students leadership). Jump in and learn as you go, you don’t have to know everything before you start.
It is a way to differentiate the curriculum and make it accessible to students who find watching a video or creating a poster dead boring.
It allows for higher order thinking skills to be used including Analyse – investigate, examine, Evaluate – decide, justify, Create – construct, design, invent
With the potential to save multiple worlds on one iPad ($7.49 app) it may be an engaging tool for teachers to use in the near future at PBAS.
Below I have added some video and images of creations built using Minecraft.
The video below is of a students work. He had to design a structure from medieval times and decided to do it in Minecraft instead of building a traditional project.
Here are some images of things people have created using Minecraft. It is amazing what you can build out of blocks!
I have written about this resource before and there are links to this tool on the Pedagogy page. I’m re posting information about this tool as the creators have rebuilt it trying to make a better version. The Differentiator is a tool that allows you to generate a task by dropping in Thinking Skills (Blooms),Content, Resource Type, what the final Product will be, and Group Size. This is all the tool does and it is fairly simple to use once you have had a play with it. What I think is good about The Differentiator is the fact that as you design a task it gives you a wide variety of options under the headings I have mentioned. This may spark some ideas that you would normally think off when designing tasks. We all have our favourite modes of presentation or resources etc for students to use and for the benefit of student learning we should try to use a wider variety of task types, presentation modes, levels of Blooms etc.
An idea that I had to help differentiate your curriculum was to use this tool to generate tasks at varying levels of difficulty on the same topic i.e Year 9 History (Vikings – social structures). Use the tool to create a task at the lower end of Blooms, a task in the middle and one at the top as a way of engaging more students in the work.
I have not had a good look through this site but what I have seen looks useful. If you are looking for information and resources around differentiation then this site offers a range of information on the topic. There is also a link to this site on the Pedagogy page under Domain 4.
Differentiation is something that has been discussed at school lately, perhaps spurred on by the literacy diagnostic and report our school undertook and received in 2011.
Very quickly differentiation is about the way we instruct to cater for different learning styles in our classrooms. But are we really clear about what differentiation is and are we aware that there are other terms out there that refer to how we cater for differences in student learning. You’re probably not surprised, it is not unusual for education academics to come up with terms (or buzzwords) to describe every facet of our profession.
I did find the following useful when trying to look at different approaches we can take in the classroom to improve student learning. Please be aware that these are not definitive definitions of individualisation, personalisation and differentiation.