Many students love Minecraft, even older students. I use Minecraft Education Edition with my college students and even they enjoy it. No matter the age of the students if you are looking to increase student engagement then Minecraft Education Edition may be the answer. Here are some steps for creating a Minecraft Lesson.
1. Minecraft Education Edition
The first step you will need in creating a basic Minecraft lesson is to have Minecraft Education Edition licenses for your students. While not free, it is very inexpensive. Minecraft can be installed on almost any device, including Chromebooks.
2. Build in Creative Mode
There are 3 game modes for Minecraft: Creative, Survival, and Adventure. In Creative mode players have unlimited materials. In Survival mode they have to gather materials. It should be noted that students can FLY to explore the world in Creative mode, but not survival.
3. E for Inventory
After starting a world press E for inventory to add resources to your hot bar and inventory. Using Minecraft Education Edition I suggest you start by adding:
- NPC spawn egg
There are other materials you will definitely want, such as planks of wood, but that short list is what you will need to create a lesson.
4. Turn on World Builder
Use the slash command /wb to toggle on World Builder. This allows you to design the world.
5. Place Signs, NPC’s, Boards
Put items in your hand such as a sign, chalkboard, or NPC spawn egg in your hand. Right click to place them on the ground.
NPC – Non Player Character
If you do not have World Builder set to true you are not going to be able to place the NPC spawn egg. An NPC is a non player character that can have some dialog for the student to read. It can also have a button to take them to a website or to teleport them to a different area of the lesson.
When you are first getting started with creating lessons in Minecraft take advantage of the ability to add a website link to an NPC. This can take the student to a video for instruction or to take an online quiz.
6. Design an Experience
You are just getting started so cut yourself some slack! What if the students just run around in the Minecraft world and take notes off of chalk boards? This is okay! Get the students used to importing a world and recording their actions using the in game camera and portfolio. Pictures students take in the game can be exported as a PDF and submitted.
7. Return to Start
Where do you want your students to spawn (start) in the world? Go to that place as if you were the student and look at what you want them to look at. Now use the slash command /setworldspawn to set the world spawn to show where students need to enter the world.
8. Toggle Off World Builder
Before distributing to students be sure to turn OFF world builder!! /wb set to false.
9. Check the Settings
Press escape and double check the settings. You built the world in Creative mode, do you want to switch it to Survival or Adventure?
10. Test a Copy
There is NO undo button!
If you test out the activity you might accidentally mess it up and you can not reset it. Be sure to make a copy of the world and test out the activity in the copy.
11. Export World
Once you are satisfied with your activity Export the world. This will download as a zip file that you need to share with students. Students will import the entire zip file to start the activity.
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