Yosemite Virtual World Lesson Plans
A. Yosemite Critical Thinking
1. Give students the “Yosemite Critical Thinking” paper. Read page one together and
discuss it. Have students answer questions 1 and 2 after your class discussion.
Recommended for grades 4-12
Answers: The Ann Dey dog story should help students understand that just because
Ann’s dog, Jimmy, got better after the acupuncture, there is no proof that the treatment
made him better. When forming an opinion, remind students that just because
something happens immediately after something else happens, does not always mean the
first thing caused the second thing to happen. More proof is needed.
(For more information on critical thinking see:
2. For students grade 6 and above: Read the article and questions on page 2 together.
Discuss the phrases in question 3 together. Have students write their answers to
B. Instructions for the Yosemite Virtual World
1. Read through the instructions with students, pages 1-3.
2. Have students read and complete page 4 on their own.
Answers: (15 blanks total)
1. The peaceful Miwok Indians call Chief Tenaya’s tribe the “Yosemite” which means
those who kill in the Miwok language.
2. The Yosemite Indians call the Yosemite Valley Ah-wah’-nee which means large
mouth because to them, the valley walls look like a gaping (wide open) bear’s
3. The Whites think that Yosemite means grizzly bear.
4. The settlers begin their adventures at the Mariposa Mining Camp.
5. In what year does the California Governor ask the settlers to form a Battalion? 1851.
6. The Battalion rounds up the Ahwahnechee and moves them from the Yosemite
Valley to a Reservation near the Fresno River.
C. Yosemite Virtual World
1. Before your students work in the Yosemite Virtual World, contact Marie Sontag to
make sure no one else has scheduled to use it on the dates your students will be on.
Only one class can be in the world at the same time. (email@example.com)
2. Make nameplates for each of the ten characters in the virtual world (see
http://www.timetrek.org, nameplates. Put these on the students’ computers.
3. Assign students to work in groups of 2-3, assigning each group to one of the
characters. For example, if you have 30 students, assign 3 students to each of the 10
characters. Students sit in their groups of 2-3 around one computer with their
character’s name tag.
4. Review/demonstrate procedures for logging in, user ID (character’s name) and
password (student). Remind them that only one computer can be logged in for each
character. All students role-playing a Native American form one large team, and all
students role-playing a Settler work together as a team. Decisions must be made
democratically with all team members as they discuss their options inside the virtual
world. Remind them that they must all be in the same location to talk to each other,
and to use a “ mark in the lower left area of the screen to begin talking. Review that
they should click on objects in a location to see if they should pick them up or not.
Remind them that to take an item they type in the lower left corner take ______ (the
name of the item). If they decide they don’t want the item after taking it, they can
type drop _______ (name of the item).
5. Move around the room as students play in the virtual world. The teacher can also
log in as Great_Spirit, using the password of sonnet. This will enable you to see
what’s going on at different locations, and to interact with the students.
6. Once the teams reach the location where they are instructed to go to the blogspot,
have each student log in to a computer on their own to answer the blog questions.
The blog URL must be entered in a new browser window:
http://yosemitevalleyvirtualworld.blogspot.com/. Review the blog questions before
your students get there so you can prepare them for what’s coming up.
7. Monitor student responses in the blog. Remind students that everyone on their team
must respond to the blog questions before the Great Spirit can award the points the
team earned in the game.
8. Tally the points for each team (Native Americans and Settlers) by logging in as each
character, typing look me in the lower left corner, and adding up the items each team
member as collected. Each “1st hand information collected by the Native Americans
is worth 4 points. Every other item collected by the Native Americans is worth 2
points. Each item collected by the Settlers is worth one point. Each 2nd hand
information is worth half of a point.