The students have been using Minecraft to recreate the settings from the book Journey to Jo'Burg, that they have recently read as a class, and then use those settings to retell the story. The project aims to develop the students' reading comprehension. The book tells the story of a brother and sister who travel from their village to the city of Johannesburg during the time of Apartheid. Their baby sister had become very ill and they needed to go tell their mother who lived and worked in the city.
It was very impressive to see how quickly the students organized themselves, doling out building responsibilities and then speaking roles. As the teacher I did not have to motivate them or pull them along in any way. They were off and going. Since we only had a limited time I had to stop them, do their displeasure, from completing every detail they found in the book.
One of the boys immediately got on Google and searched for images of Johannesburg buildings in order to recreate the city accurately.
The students loved this project and developed a lot more than just their reading comprehension skills.
Here are some of the other scenes that they created from the story.
|Barn on the orange farm they slept in on the first night|
|Overview of the entire journey|
|Johannesburg with 'pink house' where the mother worked|
|Working train station where the police raid asking for everyone's passes|
|Hospital with a long line where they take the sick baby|
|Soweto arial view|