Category: Blog

Roman History Lesson Plan – The Baths

Ancient Roman Baths

A Roman History Lesson Worksheet

An archaeology based analysis lesson plan on the importance of ancient Baths of Rome. Activate student interest before playing Excavate! Rome or use it in your ancient Rome world history classroom studies.Read More


Maya Mesoamerican Lesson

Ancient Maya of Mesoamerica

A World History Lesson Worksheet

An archaeology analysis lesson on the importance of ancient Maya Mesoamerica. Activate student interest before playing Excavate! Mesoamerica or use it in your ancient Maya world history classroom studies. Invite students to describe artifacts and hypothesize their use in ancient Mesoamerica. Use describe, interpret, and evaluate (D-I-E) lessons to record archaeology artifact observations during game-play or as a per-lesson activity to check their hypotheses for accuracy. It is a fun way to prepare and engage with content while playing Excavate! Mesoamerica.  The worksheet if free for teachers to download as a classroom resource.

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Ancient Maya Lesson Overview

Objective:

Students will describe and infer the significance of Mayan artifacts found in an archaeological site in preparation for playing the Maya site in Excavate! Mesoamerica.

Duration:

Approximately 30 minutes  with a potential follow-up lesson of 20 minutes (after playing the Maya site of Excavate! Mesoamerica or your standalone unit activity.

Materials:

This history lesson worksheet PDF document includes:

  • Student D-I-E organizer
  • Artifact Resource Sheet for the Maya site
  • Teacher answer sheet for the D-I-E organizer
Download PDF

Includes Ancient Mesoamerica lessons for Maya, Aztec, and Inca

The Mayan Artifacts

Four Artifacts for Students to Analyze in the Lesson Plan

Jade Necklace
Glyph Inscription

Maize God

Stingray Spines

Introduction:  Describe

Estimated Time: 15 minutes

In this part of the worksheet activity you explain to students that they will be exploring artifacts related to the ancient Maya culture. Their first job is to carefully preview the artifacts by describing them in detail.

Step 1: Students look carefully at artifacts on the Artifact Resource Sheet.

Step 2: Students write descriptions of each artifact in the describe column of the Student D-I-E Organizer. Pay close attention that students are only writing descriptions and not explaining what the artifact is and how it is used.

Step 3: Share as a class the descriptions and notice if anyone has found a new detail or something that they initially did not see. Emphasize that spending time on the description step of this process is necessary for seeing all the details that can generate new insight.


Preparing to play Excavate! Mesoamerica:  Interpret

Estimated Time: 15 Minutes

Playing the game is of course optional.

Step 4: Students hypothesize what each artifact would have been used for by answering the questions in the Interpret column of the Student D-I-E Organizer. Push students to back up their thoughts based on what they have included in their description.

Step 5: Share as a class and keep a record of what students think of each one of the artifacts. Do not correct students. Explain that as they play the game they will encounter these artifacts and will find out if their hypotheses were correct.


“I LOVED the analysis questions because it assisted the kids in seeing the “big” picture and making connections.”

5th Grade Social Studies, OH

Post-Game Recap: Evaluate

Estimated Time: 20 minutes

Step 6:  Play the Maya Site of Excavate! Mesoamerica. Have students correct their interpretations on the Student D-I-E Organizer.

Step 7:  Share new observations learned about each artifact while playing Excavate! Mesoamerica.

Step 8:  Have students complete the Evaluate column in the Student D-I-E Organizer. See examples on the Teacher Answer Sheet.

This activity could be extended as follows:

Facilitate discussion on the importance of Maya society and how these artifacts have facilitated new insight.

Have students write a reflection on which artifact was the most surprising and why.

Sample Artifact Answer Key

Note: the PDF download contains all keys

Item:

Describe: What is the material of the artifact? What is its shape? Does it have any symbols?

  • The figure resembles a person.
  • There is a headdress and the figure has jewelry around its neck.
  • Made of either pottery or Stone

Teacher Reveal: This is a limestone carving of a person.

____________

Interpret:

What is it used for? What is this object?

  • There is a headdress, which must be symbolic
  • The hands are in a position which probably have meaning.

Teacher Reveal: This is a carving of a god.

____________

Evaluate:

What does the artifact tell us about the people that used this artifact? What does the artifact possibly tell them about their society?

Teacher Reveal: This sculpture made of limestone is a carving of the Maya Maize God. The figure is wearing an ear of corn headdress and represents the agricultural cycle, abundance, and prosperity.  

Teach Mayan History in the Classrom

Did you know?

Chichen Itza in the Yucatan Peninsula was once a bustling city for the Mayan civilization. With it’s amazing structures like El Castillo, the Great Ball Court, the observatory, and the Temple of the Warriors, Chichen Itza has been named one of the Seven Wonders of the New World. 

Maya – MesoAmerica Teacher Resources

Artifact Based Question Prompts

These are additional lesson plan worksheets provided by DiG-iT! Games. Use this scene combined with artifacts from the game to have your students answer a DBQ assignment that will demonstrate their learning. (rubric included)

Teacher and Content Guide

This is a content guide for Excavate! Mesoamerica. It includes all the readings and descriptions that will be experienced while playing the game.  Teachers and parents can review this guide to understand the text and learning goals and that students and players will encounter. 

Ancient Maya: Knowledge through art – Lesson Plan

A lesson plan featured by PBS on Ancient Maya.  Targets grades 9-12 but could be modified.  In this lesson the student will explore the Maya culture, and our knowledge of it through art, architecture, and the heritage of modern Maya people.


World History Games

Explore all the Excavate! game titles including the empires of  Rome, Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia, MesoAmerica and Byzantine.

Learn More

Augustaion Byzantine Lesson Plan

Ancient Augustaion Byzantium

A World History Lesson Worksheet

An archaeology analysis lesson on the importance of ancient Augustaion Byzantium. Activate student interest before playing Excavate! Byzantine or use it in your ancient Byzantine world history classroom studies.Read More


Giza Egypt Inquiry Lesson

Ancient Giza Egypt

A World History Lesson Worksheet

An archaeology analysis lesson on the importance of ancient Giza Egypt. Activate student interest before playing Excavate! Egypt or use it in your ancient Egypt world history classroom studies.Read More


Ancient Egypt Game now in Dutch

Expanding our usability, Dig-iT! Games is thrilled to announce Excavate! Egypt is now available in Dutch! We’re beyond excited to be able to spread our love of archaeology, Ancient Egypt and gaming with more players and students. Read More


Help Your Child Grow Through STEM!

Listen up parents and educators; I have some helpful information if your children are seeking new ways to create things that simple Legos cannot. Emilia Keen, a teacher at the local junior high school across from the park, informed me that there is a rental service called LurnBot. She said that it would be useful in encouraging an interest in programming. As the silent invading forces of AI slowly take over the workplace, our youngsters must learn how to control and possibly overthrow any AI, in case of an emergency. Or you know, they could build a program and sharpen their critical thinking skills. Either motivation works. 

Anyway, LurnBot has affordable prices, and class packages are available for students in elementary, middle, and high school. No matter what age, students have the choice of picking a product that they can build or code. Looking over the website’s possible rentals, I found the Makeblock DIY Starter Robot to be interesting. If I were a younger student again, I would be ecstatic putting it together and quietly give a mischievous laugh in the corner. Minor evil plotting aside, if your student or child gets attached to one of the robotic or coding products, they can be bought from LurnBot. Basically you pay the difference of the rental fee and retail price but check the store for exact details. This is advantageous as it gives one the opportunity to try before you buy.

Now, readers, I have a curious mind, so I decided to ask Mr. Josh Kim, the owner and founder of Lurnbot, more questions about his company. The responses were helpful and provided a bit of comfort against the previously stated AI takeover.

Interview with Mr. Josh Kim

What inspired you to create this rental service? 

I have two daughters. I bought a lot of Legos and toys for the elder one. Choosing one was not difficult since my daughter always knew what she wanted. But many of those toys was a waste of money. And most of them were thrown to the closet after a week or two. After becoming a teen, there are only two, an American girl and a LEGO boat, are left in her closet. 

Now the younger one is old enough to play with these toys. I looked into robot kits because I wanted more productive toys for her. This time, it was too hard to pick the right one since there are too many. Also, they could be quite expensive and cost hundreds of dollars. That could be a bit much, especially if you don’t know whether she would like to keep it even after two or three weeks. This made me think about the LurnBot.com, which categorizes these kits by level or skill sets and lets people rent kits only when needed. They can try it for three weeks, and if kids really want to keep, they have an option to buy the kit. You can rent kits at an affordable price, and then extend the period or even buy them if you want to have them. Kids will get more chances to experience different kits at an affordable price to buy one.

Should people, especially the younger generations, be worried about AI taking over the workforce? 

Yes and no. Robots are everywhere as a physical one or software. You can easily find the physical robots in the factory, airport, etc., and also software bots such as RPA(Robotic Process Automation) bots in banking site or in the workplace. Many jobs have been lost by those robots, and it is really happening, but some jobs could not be replaced. Kids should focus on those things. Understanding programming can be a starting point. Instead of competing with robots, leveraging them is required.

 Is programming a crucial skill that everyone should have basic knowledge in considering the times we live in?

For kids, yes, it is necessary. For adults, I am not sure. Adults may not need to understand coding. Programming is a kind of language like music. People using different languages can understand each other’s thought through their coding. Now kids who will live in a wave of devices and IT should know the principles of programming as the foundation on which the world works even if they won’t be a programmer. Programming also teaches logical thinking and helps to think step by step. 

 Could programming be helpful to people who do not want to pursue a scientific or technological job or career? 

Same as the answer above. To use a smartphone or watch TV, you don’t need to know what the OLED is or how to control the screen pixels. Since the interface is getting better and better, understanding what is beneath them is not mandatory. Of course, it’s helpful to know how it works, but it’s not essential. Nonetheless, if you can understand basic programming concept, you can have a diversified view on those systems.

Do you market this service towards adults like teachers and parents?

Most of LurnBot’s customers come to the site by having the same needs as mine. Kids want to have a robot kit, but parents don’t want to spend the unnecessary initial investment on products which they have no idea “what it is”. 

The users of the kits are, of course, kids, but the actual marketing target of the LurnBot is parents and teachers in their 30s to 50s. Initially, I targeted parents. For now, most customers are homeschool, alternative schooling, or public schools teachers who want to set up a maker space in the library or STEM program.

How does LurnBot get people’s attention against similar rental or subscription services?

Transparent pricing is the most appealing point. Rental prices were determined in consideration of factors like the weight of the product and the difficulty of managing. In the case of shipping charges, the two-way shipping fee is already included in the rental price after we carefully investigated. So, there is no hidden cost, and the amount shown on the product page is what the customer will pay. It prevents customers from experiencing to leave the checkout page, feeling that he/she is cheated with the expensive two-way shipping cost. 

Another appealing point is the quick customer service. We provide fast service to our customers through various channels. If there is any problem with the kit, such as missing parts, the replacement will be shipped within 24 hours. We got lots of appreciation and applause from customers about our fantastic “Customer First” service.

Does LurnBot have competitors?

Various companies are actively doing rental business for LEGO and children’s toys. But there aren’t many sites to rent programmable kits. A company called Stemtrunk, which was funded through Indiegogo, is running a subscription model. They also provide an after-class program.

So, there you have it. We may not need to worry about humans experiencing joblessness so quickly. Gaining the knowledge and experience at an early age will make it easier to navigate the ever-progressing world they will come to know. Lurnbot rental service is perfect for building those programming foundations early and help them grow into technologically savvy adults. It shouldn’t be expensive for children to have the chance to gain an interest in coding or robotics. For those who do feel a connection to these skills at a young age, they should get the necessary tools and experiences that will lead them to success. The worse that could happen is that your child becomes a supervillain with robot minions, but that rarely ever happens. With all this in mind, parents browse the LurnBot store today!

LurnBot Kits

LurnBot Kits

Cubelets TWELVE Robot Blocks
Robot Blocks
Learn More
Robot Kit
See It
Piper Computer
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Three Marketing Hacks For Indie Game Developers

In 2018 Dig-iT! Games decided to let our designers, artists, and developers loose and create a puzzle adventure game (Roterra) for casual mobile players.  We had a new mechanic and concept for art and a 16th-century Italian poem for reference, what we didn’t have was a lot of experience marketing to mobile users. Figuring out how to market to the casual mobile game player has been a journey in trial and error and with some highs and lows. Read More


Take the Lead and Be George Washington

Take the Lead and Be George Washington

President George Washington has been immortalized in the minds of the American people.  Most remember him for his leadership and deeds during the American Revolution, while others think of his presidency.  He had been put in countless situations that could have changed the course of our history in drastic ways. He dealt with events such as the Newbury Conspiracy and Genet Affair with experience, courage, and patience. For a man held in such high regard in our history, it seems nearly impossible to fill his shoes. That is until now! George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate has created a live digital theater game that allows players to be George Washington.

In Be Washington, players must keep their wits about them in this fun simulator and take charge in four significant events during George Washington’s time in command of the Continental Army and The Presidential Office. During these scenarios, players will have various advisors Washington would have had to aid in making decisions. While they listen, new information related to the situation will appear. The latest news can either solidify their choice or change their mind on what to do.  For example, one of the scenarios is the Battle of Second Trenton. Once the players are given all the necessary information about the event, they are met with multiple advisors. Each of them has differing opinions on how to handle the situation, so it is vital that the players listen and consider whether or not they agree.  While the advisors talk, a timer counts down until it is time to make a choice. The timer pauses when more information comes in about the battle.

Once all the necessary information is given, the players have ten seconds to decide. After a decision is made, it is revealed what George Washington did in that particular situation. The percentages of who chose what answers are compared to each other on-screen. Doing this provides a unique view of people’s choices when faced with those high-pressure situations. From an educational standpoint, Be Washington provides insight into what it takes to be a leader.  It also embodies the importance of learning history.  An examination of history is crucial in not only preventing it from repeating but also improving the world into something more.

Play George Washington At Home

This game can be played in singular player mode at home, but also allows for groups to play as well, which is perfect for a classroom setting.  Be Washington would be an excellent fit for teachers and students who have an interest in history while also making it fun. To play as a group, someone would either host the game or join a game with a code to enter. It is compatible with Apple and Android devices and can be downloaded at their perspective stores.  It can also be downloaded and played on desktops that support Google Chrome and HTML5 software.

The game has won several awards including the prestigious Outstanding Achievement -Limited Budget from the Themed Entertainment Association

More George Washington and US History

George Washington’s Estate 

History.com-George Washington 

Whitehouse.gov – US Presidents 

Mount Vernon Lesson Plans

Play Dig-iT! Games Loot Pursuit-Early America set in Jamestown.


Give Your Kids a Culture Boost Before Your Summer Vacation

Summer is upon us and that means that your vacation planning is likely well underway! With air travel being more popular than ever, European destinations are potential contenders for many families. Historic and fascinating locations such as Rome and Greece are destinations that the entire family can enjoy.
Before jetting off to one of the most historically important places in the world, why not let your kids have a fun culture lesson about your upcoming destination? Not only will they appreciate the destination more, but this can lead to life long memories of seeing something they previously learned about in person!
It’s no secret that kids love playing games. Here at Dig-iT! Games®, we have games that are so fun and interesting that your kids may not even realize that they are also learning some really cool historic facts!

Travel To Ancient Lands

Our Excavate! game series allows your children to play as an archaeologist excavating particular sites in search of artifacts. It includes six individual games representing a historic culture in history: Rome, Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia, MesoAmerica, and Byzantine Empire. After choosing their excavation location in a game, players will go through a short tutorial to teach them al about the tools that are used by archaeologists and in which situations they should be used.

After taking care to find and dig up each exciting artifact, players will examine each artifact. The player will read a question related to the artifact, and then will be given a choice of answers where they will choose the one that seems the most logical.
Wrong answer? No problem! This game is educational, so the player chooses until they get the right answer. After selecting the correct answer, more interesting information is given about the artifact that explains in more detail why it was so important.

After seeing all of these cool artifacts and learning about them, like how Roman gladiators wore armor that was segmented to allow flexibility during hand-to-hand combat, your trip will be more enjoyable for everyone! Not only will you get to visit all of those historic sites that you want to see, but now, the whole family will be knowledgeable and interested to see these sites in person!
After the end of each Stratum level, the player will fill out a form all about what they learned. (That’s why it is important for them to take notes!) The form contains context clues, but still requires to player to have paid attention during the excavation process.

As we previously mentioned, not only are the Excavate! games educational, but they are also a lot of fun. Don’t be surprised if soon, you find yourself playing as well!

Games For Your Destination:

Match your destination to our Excavate games!
Greece (Athens, Sparta, Olympia, and Delphi)

 

Mesopotamia (Sumer, Assyria, and Babylon)

 

MesoAmerica (Aztec, Maya, and Inca)

Roterra Puzzle Game Hits App Store

January 31, 2019

Launch Day Arrives

Roterra Now Available on the App Store

About Me

It has been over two weeks now since we launched our newest puzzle adventure game Roterra – Flip the Fairytale to the App Store.  This has been quite an adventure for a small indie studio but we could not be more excited about the positive response from puzzle game players. For those of you that have purchased our game, thank you so much for your support.

Apple Featured Game

Once you launch you wait and wonder and then an early moment of truth arrives from Apple itself.  

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