Minecraft as inspiration for writing

In English lessons, 5 Violet have been studying the narrative poem: The Highwayman. After Miss Therese introduced the poem by dressing up as the highwayman and leading the students on a detective hunt to understand the difficult vocabulary; the class then set about learning the poem through drama and text mapping.

Next the pupils were transported back to the 18th Century (when the poem was set) in the world of Minecraft. Thanks to Mr. Jonathan Todd who created a world for us to imagine ourselves as being part of our class poem.

Students found themselves in a forest at night under a moonlit sky (‘The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas’). They had to find their way to the inn by following the correct path through the forest (‘The road was a ribbon of moonlight’). When the students had found their way to the inn they then had to work out how to open the door (‘but all was locked and barred’).Once they had solved the problem of getting into the inn, they found Bess waiting for them (‘and who should be waiting there but the landlord’s black-eyed daughter, Bess, the landlord’s daughter’).

The children absolutely loved playing the game and couldn’t contain their excitement! When we returned to class we used the experience as inspiration to write our own short narrative poem by describing the setting and character.




  1. We also teach this Highwayman ballad in Y7. Great to know that the world has already been created. I love the idea of bringing a poem to life in this way. Well done JT and SC!

  2. therese · · Reply

    This is great! We know that students are helped by visuals – this is the ultimate example! I’m looking forward to seeing their poems 🙂

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