Kids who attend the Austin EcoSchool learn from teachers and families who understand the power of learning by doing. In its third year, the EcoSchool is a three day a week school that’s a bridge between homeschooling and traditional schooling. Among the creative ways the EcoSchool teachers implement their curriculum is having the children use The Game of Villiage to learn about other cultures, countries and periods of history. From The Game of Viliage Web site:
Briefly, The Game of Village (aka Village) is a slice of the real world at its best, in the scale of 1:24. Young people are invited to become Homesteaders on a mini frontier of real territory. In exchange for their agreements, they develop a harmonious and productive community in miniature. Homesteaders are granted a mini acre of land on which their PEEPS (short for miniature people) are required to reside, and make their home.
EcoSchool founder, Dee Cárdenas, explained how this year’s students have used The Game of Village.
We have used the Game of Village as the hub for teaching children about history and life skills. In this year’s Village, children create a small scale medieval village, complete with residents (“Peeps”). They design and construct Peep houses, take on jobs, form a government and build community, all in a historically relevant context. Children learn financial sense, self-reliance, interpersonal skills and group cooperation, competence with tools and bringing an idea from conception to completion on a schedule. Other classes at Austin EcoSchool (Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Art and Music) are related to the MIddle Ages to varying degrees, always with the idea that deep and long-lasting learning takes place when children are having fun.
The Austin EcoSchool’s set up at Maker Faire will provide visitor’s the opportunity to create their own Peeps that they can then take over to the Medieval mini-village to explore and play. The village includes a castle, a jousting yard, a market faire.