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May 8, 2013

Educational Uses of Minecraft

by Randy Ziegenfuss

In conjunction with Staff Appreciation Week, we are featuring student work as a daily post on Today, we feature Salisbury Middle School and Mr. David Beyer, 6th Grade Teacher. Thank you Mr. Beyer for sharing this story!

6th grade students are frequently encouraged to develop projects using Minecraft to demonstrate their learning. Read what these students have done and watch short videos of their projects.

Minecraft is a great game to create a project. Minecraft makes learning fun because I find it more interesting building on the computer instead of drawing or writing on paper. In Minecraft there are about 100 different color blocks that you can use to make what you want to. It’s like putting together Lego blocks. There are trees, plants, animals, and and other stuff you can use for details. I used Minecraft on my project for Bridge to Terabithia to show what I learned about the book. I was able to make my project look like how I pictured it in my head. Because I could make it three-dimensional I had to be more detailed in picturing it.

Minecraft is great for learning. You can build and make pretty much anything. For our Chinese New Year project we made a polo stadium using Minecraft. We based it on a real place that we researched. Minecraft is also good for learning and doing projects in school because you can use your imagination to explain what you have learned.

Minecraft helps me as a learner in many ways. For example, if I am reading a book and I have to explain it, I can use Minecraft to help explain what it looks like, what the environment looks like, or I can build a sculpture of a character. Minecraft also is connected to geometry because it uses blocks. I have to figure out angles to make things look right. Minecraft can be fun, but it can also be used for learning.

I find that Minecraft lets me do more than have fun. I can build something, have fun doing it, and show my teachers what I understand about a topic in school. I used Minecraft to built an Egyptian temple. I believe the temple enhanced my understanding of secret passageways, false doors and secret chambers the Ancient Egyptians would have used in their time. I have also received extra credit for turning in a Minecraft project.

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