Saturday 10 December 2016

Using 'digital lego' to recreate events of 1916

Published 22/06/2016 | 02:30

Resource teacher Sinead Herlihy, (second from left) and fourth, fifth and sixth class students from Mitchelstown CBS primary, Co Cork, are presented with their prize for winning the MindRising Games junior category at an awards ceremony in Dublin City University by DCU president Professor Brian MacCraith.
Resource teacher Sinead Herlihy, (second from left) and fourth, fifth and sixth class students from Mitchelstown CBS primary, Co Cork, are presented with their prize for winning the MindRising Games junior category at an awards ceremony in Dublin City University by DCU president Professor Brian MacCraith.
The boys' project, which was based on WW1 and 1916 events.

The 2015/16 school year was particularly memorable for the way it allowed teachers and pupils to showcase their hard work, talent, creativity and sheer enthusiasm through the spectrum of the 1916 commemorations.

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One of the many initiatives was MindRising Games, a digital story-telling competition. It challenged teams to combine their imagination with Minecraft - often described as a "digital Lego" - to tell a story, through exploring and investigating the last 100 years, or looking ahead to the next century.

Sinead Herlihy, resource teacher at the Mitchelstown CBS primary, Co Cork, a 220-pupil DEIS school, has been using Minecraft for years as a methodology to teach literacy, language skills, social and collaborative skills, as well as to develop self-confidence and to encourage creative thinking.

So, she and about 20 pupils from third class up took on the challenge with gusto.: "The boys were full of enthusiasm. They all have an excellent knowledge of Minecraft and were keen to verbalise their ideas. We decided to make a Minecraft music video."

The video starts with World War 1 scenes, with pupils making creative use of Minecraft technology for some dramatic visual explosives - and then moves on to Easter 1916, recreating one of its most poignant stories, the wedding of Joseph Mary Plunkett and Grace Gifford.

Some of the boys sang the soundtrack for the four-minute video. accompanied by Anthony O'Brien, a special needs assistant at the school.

Irish Independent

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