My very first Bogerd story – The Ogre’s Secret – found a home in Broadswords and Blasters, issue 6. Friend and raconteur Ed McKean gave me an idea for this one long ago. John Miller and I worked together a few years back on teaching materials intended to drop students into a Minecraft world of vikings and castles. That project inspired me to look at this story again and get it up to speed. It’s a romp and nothing more, but I hope you’ll enjoy it!
Tag Archives: John Miller
Students and teachers of Chalone Peaks Middle School once again created a great event yesterday. Helped by parents and loyal reenactors, everyone worked together to make the 2018 Civil War reenactment a learning experience without equal. History came alive before young people’s eyes and will live in their minds always.
Author at work (Photo by Vibeke Hanneman)
Lincoln sharing his thoughts (Photo by Vibeke Hanneman)
Harriet Tubman revealing the evils of slavery. (Photo by Vibeke Hanneman)
Confederates advance (Photo by Vibeke Hanneman)
Union soldiers defend. (Photo by Vibeke Hanneman)
BOOM! (Photo by Vibeke Hanneman)
Happy to announce that Chris Scott and I have written a second Unofficial Minecraft Lab book and it is now available through most of the usual booksellers. This book emphasizes STEM applications and follows the same pattern as our previous book —> 24 Minecraft activities + 24 out of game activities. We also wanted parents to see how enriching and valuable having a “Minecraft Skillset” can be, so we interviewed several amazingly talented folks about how they incorporate these skills into their lives and occupations. It includes interviews with Stephen Reid, Garrett Zimmer, Johan Kruger, Adam Clarke, and Sqaishey.
Finally, we introduce the idea of sketchnoting by asking kids to create a visual lab journal of sorts as they proceed through the activities.
For locals, I will be doing a book signing at WhizKids in SLO on Sunday, May 6th. Come on by between 11:30 and 2 and say hi!
This is what friend and colleague John Miller had to say about his new book. Here’s the Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Unofficial-Minecraft-STEM-Kids-Family-Friendly/dp/1631594834/
John Miller’s new Minecraft unit set in Medieval England opens that time and that culture to his 7th grade students – amazingly so! They took the knowledge they acquired and rebuilt 14th Century Birmingham in Minecraft. They then used story-starters that I supplied to create detailed and coherent narratives about the most terrible problem people of that time faced: the Black Death. John’s work is beyond cutting edge. Please take a look at the unit here: http://minecraft.edtecworks.com/2016/05/08/recreating-medieval-birmingham-in-minecraft/
Friend and Colleague John Miller recruited me to contribute to his teaching unit on Medieval Japan a couple of years ago. Some of the tanka I wrote turned out pretty well and one just got published in the Tanka Journal # 3. Here’s a link to the online journal:
and here’s one to the book:
The era of Viking raids and invasions that began in the 9th Century is among the least understood and most neglected periods of history. John Miller and I wanted to open this period for 7th grade students by engaging them in narratives drawn from primary source documents. Here’s a link to John’s completed Minecraft unit:
Please have a look at the writing prompt for the unit’s ending assignments:
A Viking’s Funeral
Gofraid moved out of shadow and stood in silence before a half circle of faces. Every person in the Viking town waited for his words. A low fire flickered behind him. He turned his head slowly and his long hair shone flame-gold.
At last, he spoke, “We drove our longships onto pale sand at low tide. The town was close, but a rampart of sand and logs blocked our path. Bowmen manned the rampart and fired into our rush. Fafnir fell with an arrow through his throat and Knutr took an arrow in his right eye. Ragnar – ” Gofraid turned and gestured to the tall pile of oil-soaked logs to his side on which Ragnar’s body now lay. “A war arrow bit deep into Ragnar’s thigh. He staggered, but he broke the arrow off short and ran on. He leapt atop the rampart and sliced his blood-drinker through the throat of the bowman who’d shot him. Then his sword drank the lives of two more bowmen, one to either side. We caught him then and swarmed over the rampart into the town.” Gofraid paused.
Only crackling flames broke the silence around the fire. Gofraid’s mouth was a grim line. He made a fist of his right hand. “We gathered rich loot, but we had no need of slaves from this place. All died. The town is ashes.”
The crowd roared and beat sticks on the ground. Some shouted “Ragnar!”; some shouted “Wodin!”; some just screamed.
Gofraid plucked a torch from the fire behind him and stepped to the tall funeral pyre. He raised the torch high. “A Viking carries his sword to Valhalla this night!” He thrust the torch deep among the logs. Flames leapt up.
Ragnar, sword upon his breast, lay at the center of the swelling, red-gold flames. Sparks rose past him to the stars.