Why start a unit with Stranded!?
A great way to start a unit is to examine pictures and artifacts about a civilization. Students can then organize any prior knowledge that they have by syncing it to the content they are about to learn. Stranded! is a way of doing this in a more engaging way. Students look at images from a civilization and guess what the item is and what it tells us about the civilization.
How I use Stranded!?
My classroom theme is Indiana Jones. So the premise of my 7th grade class is that we were taking a field trip and got lost. We end up in a civilization, look around and encounter artifacts. The students have to take Field Notes and guess what the exhibits are and what they reveal about about the civilization.
Do you have to use the Indiana Jones theme?
Absolutely not. Or you can use the Indiana Jones theme for this activity only. Or you change the premise to something like, "Imagine we got stranded and we found these artifacts. What could we guess about the civilization?"
How do I make them?
I use PowerPoint for everything, even making the Field Notes. I use the animation tools to make images "grow". That's what give the appearance that you are walking into a door or into a field. I also use the "disappear" animation feature to make images grow, then disappear. I insert sound effects that I find online for the walking sound effects.
You can always steal different PowerPoint pages from my Stranded! slides and make your own. Then you can delete whatever artifact pictures I have and insert your own.