This week we had a middle school teacher and three of her students come in and teach us how to use Minecraft for education! (Say what?!)
How Minecraft can be used to teach content and develop core competencies
- cartesian plane, x,y coordinates: use coordinates to find each other, create homes at specific locations
- extreme environments: how to survive in different weather and environments
- ancient civilizations – introducing monsters (witches, skeletons, zombies) has a purpose: types of death = threats to early man
- The amount of chatter happening and collaboration helps develop creative thinking, critical thinking, and communication core competencies
- Teacher can supervise their progress to see what they’re doing, see how much time they need to finish and how they are progressing
- Teacher has ability to control the world; add or remove survival mode to promote skill building and collaboration
- Learning to create shelter for survival skills
- Farming: can get food poisoning from raw meat, cooked meat is more filling. For example, crafting a furnace will allow you to have better quality food to fill up and feel better, not run the risk of getting sick.
- Can gift items to students to promote working collaboratively with peers in order to survive efficiently
- Consequences: students work together to find appropriate punishment for not following the rules. Students work democratically to come to collaborative solution without teacher involvement – this mimics real life problem solving.
I could definitely see myself using this in the classroom! I would love to teach middle school one day, and this is an incredibly engaging way to pull students in to the learning. It is likely that my future students will have already played Minecraft or have wanted to, but did not know how to start. This would be a great way to integrate student personal interest and really get them to buy in! Woot!
Language Arts: Create and re-create world, develop a story walk-through,
History: Recreate historical monuments: Great Wall, Pyramids, Tower of London
Geog: Teach and manipulate geographical concepts: how it changes, erosion, rock transport cycle, etc
Science: Science Island (look up on YouTube),
Math: arrays, clocks, time keeping, coordinates, fractions, virtual math manipulatives
Fairy Tales: developing fairy tale scenes