I was reading through the Grade 7 BC Curriculum Package for one of my other classes when I got an idea for a Minecraft lesson. I was looking through the English PLO’s and came across these two: “A12: recognize the structures and patterns of language in oral texts, including literary devices sound devices structural sequencing cues idiomatic expressions” (p. 12) and “C3: write a variety of imaginative writing for a range of purposes and audiences, including short stories, passages, and poems modelled from literature” (p. 22).
It got me to thinking about the writing I did as a child. I use to love writing the endings of books that I thought ended poorly. Normally this meant giving all the characters I liked a very happy ending, with no major deaths. Since my little brother and I played together a lot, we often ended up merging our hobbies. Phil, my younger brother, liked minecraft and I liked writing. Naturally, we ended up writing short stories and plays about our characters surviving in the harsh environment of the Minecraft world.
I see no reason why student’s couldn’t do the same. Students could be given say 2 or 3 lessons to explore the minecraft world. They could take notes on environment, potential dangers, etc. After they have done their research, there could be a lesson on different writing structures: literary devices, sound devices, structural sequencing cues, idiomatic expressions. Then students could be given time to either a. write a short story about the life/day of their character or b. get into groups and write a short play about the lives of one or several characters.
I like the idea of doing a short play better since I think there would be a lot of interest in acting like a Creeper or a Zombie. Obviously, if student were to do a play the project could easily hit a few Drama PLO’s too.
The other day I got a tweet from John Miller about some of the work he’s done with Minecraft in the classroom. Check out his work for more great ideas.
The video bellow explains how clouds work in Minecraft. The same youtuber explains many of the environmental features of the game and might be a good resource for students to check out when researching the game.