Finally a tech-rich unit integration with Minecraft! I’ve been using Minecraft Edu for years but only have been able to use them for mini-projects and activities. Our Grade 2 students just finished their “Farm to Table” unit where Minecraft was essentially the main learning tool for 4 weeks!
I wish I could take credit for this but in fact the catalyst came from a teacher who was passionate about trying this. Also, full credit for the ideas comes from Mike Hoffman who did this unit with Grade 2s at TAISM and he graciously shared his plans with me.
It was amazing to see the learning that came out of this unit. Students were actively engaged and learned concepts of producers, consumers, goods, services, taxation which would have been difficult to teach without a concrete experience. Students learned the basics of Minecraft but also more important skills such as collaboration, reflection, creativity and problem-solving skills.
Tips and Challenges:
- Initial setup took a bit of time as we needed to install Minecraft Edu, mods, servers, etc
- There was a learning curve for some students who had never used a laptop before so right clicking/left-clicking and general Minecraft navigation
- Partnering up students helped a lot as we had 2 students on each laptop
- Server-you need a designated computer (where the IP is static) where all the computers connect to
- Reflection booklets-these were designed by teachers and were great
- Having specific goals for each session was really important to keep students focussed (build a house, build a farm, etc)
- You need at least 1 teacher who has a good working knowledge of Minecraft (or willing to learn) as students needed help teleporting to locations or gifting items
Overall, it was great and something that we can really build on. It’s also overflowed to other grades (all great ideas do this and a good way to judge success of new ideas). We are now using it with Grade 3 in their Math units on Perimeter/Area and Fractions. We are also exploring the amazing coding mod you can add with a Turtle bot.
Let the good times roll!