École Marcelle-Mallet, Lévis (Québec)
As part of their Secondary III History of Quebec and Canada class, Jean-François Gosselin’s students were asked to design a 3D model of a scene from the Seven Years’ War, using the game Minecraft.
The goal of this project—carried out in collaboration with the Musée de la civilisation de Québec and Université Laval’s Faculty of Education—was to integrate the teaching of social studies into the museum’s new M-Lab, while allowing students to give free rein to their creativity through the use of a popular gaming environment.
The project was in keeping with a “maker” approach to learning history, in which students must develop, synthesize and, above all, make sense of a geographical and historical space.
Related to this task are questions of historical interpretation, attempting to link a more entertaining activity with work approximating that of actual historians. The ultimate goal of the project was the presentation of a 3D model that would help answer interpretation questions during interviews with each team. As the “maker” movement generally applies to the science fields, using it to teach history is an innovation.
This project was unique because it mobilized resources from the academic, school, and museum milieus to advance theoretical research, while having students carry out a complex task and giving them the opportunity to contribute to a prestigious exhibition.