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10 Awesome Ways Teachers Can Use Minecraft to Spice Up Their Lessons


10 Awesome Ways Teachers Can Use Minecraft to Spice Up Their Lessons

Upper elementary and middle school students love Minecraft! Capitalize on student interests to build lessons that capture students’ attention. By strategically allowing students to play Minecraft on your terms, students will be learning – and having a blast!

 Here are 10 ideas to get you started.

1. Descriptive writing

Writing descriptive text is an important part of any upper elementary literacy curriculum. Use Minecraft worlds and characters in the following activities:

  1. Activity #1: Describe what a world looks like using adjectives.
  2. Activity #2: Use adjectives to describe a character.
  3. Activity #3: Visualize what a world sounds or smells like.

2. Fictional Stories

Since Minecraft is all about fictional worlds, it provides the perfect setting for your students of any age to work on their imaginative writing skills. Fictional stories could include:

  1. Writing Activity #1: A hero story about a character and their world.
  2. Writing Activity #2: An epic journey story about how a character navigates their world from one end to the other.
  3. Writing Activity #3: Conflicts and their resolutions.
  4. Writing Activity #4: A compare and contrast story about two characters or two worlds.

3. Geometry

Building structures in Minecraft is a great way to introduce your students to the basics of geometry. Here are a few lesson ideas:

  1. Geometry Activity #1: Calculate the area of the buildings they create in their world.
  2. Geometry Activity #2: Calculate the number of materials they will need to build a structure.
  3. Geometry Activity #3: Calculate the volume of their completed structures.
  4. Geometry Activity #4: Calculate the perimeter of their completed buildings

4. Decimals and fractions

Your students can build more than just buildings in Minecraft! In fact, students can create gardens in the game, and you can use their gardens to create so many fun lessons about fractions and decimals.

  1. Activity #1: Create a garden with different plants and then identifying what fraction of the garden is made up of each plant.
  2. Activity #2: Convert their fractions to decimals.
  3. Activity #3: Create two or more gardens, determine the fractions or decimals, and then add the fractions or decimals.

5. Virtual field trips

There are numerous historical buildings and wonders of the world available to be imported into a Minecraft world, as well as pre-created worlds that replicate famous cities. Incorporate this bit of architecture and history by having your students:

  1. Activity #1: Visit replica cities and identify famous landmarks.
  2. Activity #2: Identify and discuss architectural styles in different areas of the world.
  3. Activity #3: Compare and contrast buildings in different cities.
  4. Activity #4: Replicate famous landmarks in their own worlds.

6. Geography

Minecraft gives students the ability to create and read maps. Here are a few activities for students to practice map skills:

  1. Activity #1: Create digital maps of their worlds, including map keys.
  2. Activity #2: Trade maps with a partner and use the map key to find different landmarks.
  3. Activity #3: Identify locations of different places using scale and direction skills.

7. Economics

Economics activity
Source: Martina

Your students have the ability to create virtual worlds that come with virtual economic systems. If your students play Minecraft in multiplayer mode, they can work together to:

  1. Lesson #1: Open shops and sell goods.
  2. Lesson #2: Set prices and market their goods.
  3. Lesson #3: Learn about product placement.
  4. Lesson #4: Understand how supply and demand drives business.

8. Social skills

Develop social skills!
Source: Mason

Social skills are a key part of any well-rounded education, and Minecraft provides the perfect platform for students to:

  • Lesson #1: Build their communication and collaboration abilities skills.
  • Lesson #2: Communicate with each other to build worlds.
  • Lesson #3: Learn to compromise and collaborate with one another.
  • Lesson #4: Hear and understand the viewpoints and opinions of others.

9. Selfies

Incorporate some visual art concepts into your classroom by requiring your students to create pixelated selfies using Minecraft as their medium. As students come up with idea for their selfies, they learn how to:

  1. Make a plan.
  2. Choose colors to create an accurate image of themselves.
  3. Make an accurate selfie using knowledge of shading, lighting, and position.

10. Coding

What better way to introduce students to the wonderful world of coding than with a computer game! Using Minecraft simulations will teach students key coding concepts, including

  1. Patterning, pattern recognition, algorithms, sequencing, and loops.
  2. Experiencing coding simulations available on Minecraft, such as helping baby turtles survive.
  3. Coding a simulation of their own.

Students who enjoy school and have fun learning make enormous academic gains. Utilizing the much-loved world of Minecraft is an effective and easy way to build some fun into your school day. To learn more, visit Minecraft Education for a wealth of pre-created lesson plans across the core subjects. Or come up with your own!

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Sara Ipatenco

Senior Member

Sara is a 1st-grade teacher at a private school in the Rocky Mountains. She loves to read, sew, and travel. She spends most of her time away from the classroom with her husband and two children. They love taking long walks, watching movies, and playing board games together.

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