There is a lot of confusion about the difference between Minecraft and Minecraft EDU. This pilot, initiated by two fifth grade students, demonstrates the difference. Fifth graders, John and Foster, researched the software and included tips for teachers and students, as well as ties into the curriculum in math, science and social studies.
Mr. Kevin Zabawa, from our technology department, volunteered to train the teachers and come to Center to kick off the pilot. Without him, this pilot would not have been possible! Thank you Mr. Z!!
The fifth graders are studying the colonies and so we started with this essential question:
Imagine you are a colonist who has just arrived in the New World. What would you need in order to survive?
They were tasked with getting food, making shelter and creating jobs (builder, craftsman, farmer) in creation of their southern colony.
The boys mined for iron to make their tools and traded with Native Americans to get what they needed for building. For example, they traded wooden pickaxes (made from trees) for more durable diamond ones. They also traded with the Native Americans by giving them crafting tables for food to eat.
Collaborating closely, John and Foster built houses, a town hall, and a barn in their southern colony. They planted seeds to grow wheat to feed their animals and in turn feed themselves the meat, acquire leather, and other resources they needed in their colony.
The Colonies Project allows students to hunt for resources in three general North American geographic regions: New England, Mid-Atlantic and Southern. Not all resources are available to each colony which requires colonists to trade and negotiate for what they need with their fellow settlers.
Tying into the social studies standards as well as the technology standards of creativity, innovation, communication, collaboration and digital citizenship, the students learned what was necessary to be colonists in the New World and create a functional colony.
John and Foster, along with "Mr. Z" will be sharing their knowledge with the entire fifth grade.
Success!! Enjoy the screenshots of the colony!
CLICK TO ENLARGE!