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PCS Test Run - Lesson Ideas

Page history last edited by Lucas Gillispie 9 years, 9 months ago

Minecraft Trial Ideas

 

April 8 - Day 1 - Washed Ashore (45min)

 

Instructor Notes:

  • Remind students that from now until the end of school, they will be embarking on an adventure.  We will be playing a game in school. How well they play and the level of teamwork they demonstrate will determine if future classes have the opportunity to do this same activity.
  • Remind students that though we are playing a game, we are still learning.  We are also still in school.  The expectations are still the same whether they are here or in the game.
  • Read The Story So Far... to the students.
  • We will refer to the students as Explorers.
  • Make sure each student can successfully log in.
  • Have the students spend a few moments exploring the game’s controls:
    • W, A, S, D for movement.  Using the Mouse to Look.  Left click to break things.  Right click to place or use things.  Spacebar to jump.  “T” to chat with each other.  “I” to access their inventory.  Mouse wheel to change what item they’re holding.
  • It is more valuable for students to discover much of this on their own and share what they’ve learned with their fellow Explorers.  Our goal is to exploit the sandbox nature of the game and encourage exploratory learning.
  • Ask leading questions that encourage experimentation rather than telling.
  • We initially won’t tell the students that they are playing with students from another school.  TES students will have a green shirt.  CFES students will have a blue shirt.  We will share a common mission but will have to communicate via chat (“T”) between schools.
  • It’s possible that one of our students will have had prior experience with Minecraft.  If so, that’s fine.  Let them guide other learners.
  • Take some time to get screenshots and to jot a few notes about what worked well and what didn’t.
  • Encourage students to take any notes they feel are important in their Explorer’s Journal.  

 

The Story So Far...


You don’t remember much.  You know there was a big storm.  Lightning flashed across the sky as the wind howled, tearing at the sails of the ship.  

...the ship.  You were aboard an exploration vessel, but now you’re here.  You seem to remember the crash, but it’s all very foggy in your mind now.  

As best you can tell, this place is uninhabited except by a few animals.  As you look around, you can see your fellow shipmates around you, all wearing their explorer’s uniforms.

Your chances of rescue are slim, so you’ll have to work together to gather resources and build a new town so each of you can survive.  This new world is yours.  What will you build?

April 15th - Day 2 - A Mysterious Visitor (45min.)

 

Instructor Notes:

  • Review the basic controls if necessary.
  • Read “A Mysterious Visitor.”
  • Today, instructor(s) might be able to log in to participate with students, briefly.  Our goal here is to direct students to http://www.minecraftwiki.net for the recipe page.  This will be critical since we are pressed for time.  The mysterious visitor should act, well... mysterious, but ultimately encourage students to visit the wiki for the recipe page.
  • During today’s session encourage students to experiment with creating items.  A key component is the crafting table (1 wood plank in each of the four crafting boxes).  The Recipes section of Minecraft Wiki is critical.
  • Remind students that they can press “I” and then open their web browser if they need to do research online.
  • If asked about the “Mysterious Visitor,” give cryptic responses.
  • Take some time to get screenshots and to jot a few notes about what worked well and what didn’t.
  • Remind students to communicate using “T.”  
  • Encourage students to take any notes they feel are important in their Explorer’s Journal.
  • Have a brief discussion with students about the components of a functioning town (or civilization).
  • Students should also choose what sort of building/component they wish to construct and between now and the next class, they should sketch out their plan on graph paper (one block = one block in Minecraft).

(Note - Because our randomly generated starting area was mostly sandy, students will begin construction of their town on the other side of the "wall.") 

 

A Mysterious Visitor


It’s day two in your new world.  You’re beginning to realize that this place is much, much bigger than you’d realized.  Though most of your fellow Explorers are calm and have begun working to build your new home, some seem a little nervous.  There are rumors of a stranger appearing around the camp site.  What do they want?  Are they a friend or a foe?  Are they responsible for the strange signs left about?

----The direction we take from this point forward is very flexible and can be adjusted based on how the students respond to the environment.----

 

April 29th

 

May 6th

 

May 13th

 

May 20th

 

May 27th

 

June 3rd?

 

 

Comments (1)

Melanie McBride said

at 8:10 am on Mar 22, 2011

"# It is more valuable for students to discover much of this on their own and share what they’ve learned with their fellow Explorers. Our goal is to exploit the sandbox nature of the game and encourage exploratory learning."

I love, love, love this lesson idea and the way you have unpacked it (especially the part about not "teaching" the game but allowing them to play and explore it - but then you've always done that). Good that they aren't encouraged to look at wiki until after the first explorations. I know from my own experience that seeing what is possible might make a newcomer feel intimidated and possibly remove a bit of the surprise. on the other hand, seeing what's possible might, for some students, be the key to buy in. Regardless, keeping that part a mystery seems a great idea and unpacking the lesson as its own thematic game builds the excitement (it does for me!).

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