I have had a couple of students at my school who love, or I should rather say who are obsessed, with Minecraft. My own kids actually love the game as well. As an adult, educator and parent naturally dismissed the game. I didn’t get what the fascination was with pixel blocks in an 8 bit format. Keep in mind that I am a gamer myself. A year and a half later, I am hooked. Whether you are playing the pocket edition or using the Minecraft EDU platform, there is so much to explore and create.
Through this game, you are creating and collaborating with other players to build and manipulate your world. It doesn’t matter what level you are at because the game is all about working together to complete a product. Does it have to be final? No! The fact that you are working together to accomplish something within the game is enough for any student.
What I like best about the game (just like any other game), is categorizing yourself as to what kind of gamer you are. You can be a Killer (meaning you like to dissect and take things apart piece by piece), an Achiever (always looking for the goal in each tasks in order to move forward), the Socializer (the person who like to communicate and is a strong collaborator), and the Explorer (the person who discover and sometimes figures things out as a whole or in parts). We each have the these types of students in our classroom. When they are grouped together, the project or tasks can be phenomenal. Try these words out in your classroom and group them together. Students love when you connect the gamer words to the classroom.
Since I am a former science teacher, I decided to create a world of force and motion. I created different stations within the Minecraft world to show different ways that force and motion could be applied. In one station, I even added a little States of Matter as well. I noticed how math could easily be applied to Minecraft by figuring out the size of each of my stations. I also discovered how weather could be a major factor in building my stations which could lead into real world discussion on how weather affects what you build. As a result, I built a circuit to where I can manipulate the weather so it can stop raining and always be daylight. #HOONUIT!
Not only am I playing a game, but I am applying different science concepts and math! I designed the activity with the teacher, limited technology, and time in mind. Students could feel like an architect when creating their force and motion station. They have to plan on paper and then design in the platform. If students run out of time, then they can plan on paper using minecraft concepts, build in the teacher created Minecraft world, or even have discussions about it from my YouTube created videos.
I created a step by step YouTube edition of the lesson and 3 short YouTube videos for students to view as they are making their videos. The videos even give you a time to pause, stop, and reflect on your learning. The teacher edition is rather long but I break it down to where you can view whatever section of the video that you are interested in, just like watching a DVD. Who knew that my exploration in Minecraft would expand to a math and science lesson for teachers and students. I can’t wait to share and explore more of the Minecraft world!
View the Student Playlist HERE
Do you want to bring Minecraft into your classroom? Get access HERE.
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