What — California History Minecraft Projects?

Highlights from Fall and Spring Semester California Out of the Box Online Class

Yes, Minecraft –

Did you know Minecraft Creative is an amazing computer-aided design program? As my students worked on their written California missions project, they were invited to share in class about a few things they learned. Some of my students chose to create a Minecraft mission. I love it!

Here are some screenshots from one of my students highlighting San Juan Capistrano Mission.

Homing Pigeons,

Leah, 4th grade

Our last fall California Out of the Box class was spent hearing the quirky, entertaining story about Catalina’s Pigeon Express. Operating between 1894-1898, this avian courier route functioned as the quickest method of getting messages from vacationeers on Catalina Island to Los Angeles. Remember, this was prior to the advent of the wireless radio and phone service to the island. Every day, the birds completed 2 runs; the pigeons never ceased to get their messages to — and from the island.

Here is one of my student’s projects. Each student colored in their pigeon and attached 2 messages: One historical message, and one message they wrote.

And Treasure Maps!

We launched spring semester of California Out of the Box history class reading By the Great Horn Spoon! (by Sid Fleischman) and exploring the David Rumsey Map Collection, housed at Stanford University (another awesome California institution.) One character in By the Great Horn Spoon!, Dr. Buckabee, made his way around South America to California on the Lady Wilma — from the East Coast around South America. On his person, he holds a treasure map to California gold! What a perfect opportunity to study maps, and to invite students to make fun, aged-treasure maps? Using the video above, students made an aged-treasure map. When do students ever get to make treasure maps in school? I am so impressed with my student’s work!

Elise, 4th grade

Stay tuned for next year’s online California history classes; classes begin the first week of September. Click here to be notified when the courses are posted!

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