EDET 678 Week 8 Essential question: What Minecraft game could you create that would help students learn?
“The world of Minecraft exists for you to build it and transform it into anything and everything imaginable,” according to mincraftopia.com. The game operates on a 20- minute cycle. There is 10 minutes of daytime, 1½ minutes of sunrise and sunset, and then 7 minutes of nighttime.
I would use Minecraft in my classroom to address writing. I’ve been trying to incorporate more writing into my curriculum (since our school district doesn’t have one). Teachhub.com has a series of questions that are great to ask before playing Minecraft in the classroom.
- What is the story behind what you’re building? Minecraft doesn’t have a plot so the storyline must come from the players’ imagination. How students answer this question is always interesting.
- Who are the characters in your made-up world? Tell me stuff about them. What motivates them — what drives them to live in this world? Minecraft starts with only one character — the student. It’s up to him/her to find more. Often this comes from collaborating with fellow students.
- What is the setting? The game starts as a natural setting fraught with hazards. What does the student add and why?
- What is the sequence of events the characters followed to reach wherever they are by the end of the session? This is the plot.
- Discuss why you collaborated with others in surviving this world. What did they add to your success?
- Describe a new approach you used in your play that you haven’t used before. I want to see their creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving in action.
- Describe research you did to make your Minecraft world more realistic and workable. This might include geology, geography, chemistry or another topic.
These are excellent questions for teaching or reviewing story building: setting, character, sequence of events, etc. Even though Minecraft is student-directed, posing these questions beforehand will steer them in the right direction, according to Sansing. Separating writing from gaming time instead of lumping them together would allow less teacher instruction and more student gaming time.
(I’m not around any children to interview and show me how to play Minecraft).
How To Play Minecraft| Minecraftopia. (n.d.). Retrieved July 11, 2016, from http://www.minecraftopia.com/how_to_play_minecraft
Minecraft in the Classroom Teaches Reading and More. (n.d.). Retrieved July 11, 2016, from http://www.teachhub.com/minecraft-classroom-teaches-reading-writing-problem-solving
Sansing, C. (2013, September 24). Minecraft or MinecraftEdu at School? Pros, Cons, and What it’s Great For. Retrieved July 11, 2016, from https://www.graphite.org/blog/minecraft-or-minecraftedu-at-school-pros-cons-and-what-its-great-for
Simply engaging and utterly consuming: #Givercraft 2014 Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute | MVU | Michigan Virtual University. (2015, January 26). Retrieved July 11, 2016, from http://mvlri.org/Blog/ID/77/Simply-Engaging-and-Utterly-Consuming-Givercraft-2014