11-13 yrs old
Reading and Writing
Students gather materials for their journey
March 24, 2021
Minecraft Beginner's Survival Guide with Tips and Tricks
The Mountain - Minecraft World File
Minecraft world to support the lesson activities. Link will open in Minecraft: Education Edition.
The Mountain - Minecraft World File Direct Download
Minecraft world to support the lesson activities.
Minecraft: The Mountain Teacher's Guide
Additional ideas to provide vocabulary acquisition, discussion questions, fun interactive lessons, team-building activities and writing exercises.
About Minecraft: The Mountain
In the new official Minecraft novel from Max Brooks, a stranded hero stumbles upon another castaway—and discovers that teamwork might just be the secret to survival. Minecraft: The Mountain is a highly engaging novel for upper elementary and middle school students (Grades 5–8). The author uses Minecraft as a setting for lessons about friendship, teamwork, and resilience. Tying into these concepts and offering opportunities for deeper engagement this series of lesson plans can be taught in conjunction with reading the novel.
Student spawn on the beach. They are surrounded by fallen arrows and darkness - a little woozy after arriving in this world. An NPC greets them and explains that they must journey to the mountain to find safety, but first they must prepare for a perilous journey. Students gather materials from the beach to place in their inventory to prepare for travel, selecting from a variety of elements they find on the beach. Students then reflect on the materials they selected, why they are important, and how versatile they are. Students take a screenshot of their inventory and use explanatory writing to describe why they chose what they did.
• What basic items does one need for survival in a Minecraft world?
Teacher preparation and notes:
• Standards alignment:
o CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.2.B - Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
o CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.2.C - Use appropriate transitions to clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
o CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.2.D - Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
• Ensure students have read chapter 1 of The Mountain by Max Brooks.
• Word list for chapter 1: frazzled, impulsive, provisioning, navigation, mineshaft, tinged, crescent, hesitation, veer, bypass, interactive, static, mechanical, psychological, obsessively, expedition, encountered, taunted, salvation, submerged, chanted, retracing, re-booting, distinctively, nullified, plunged, eternally, chattered, generated, clenched, thrashing, sparsely, millisecond, writhed, frantically, clarity, hyper-healing, banish, devising.
1. Read chapter 1 of The Mountain by Max Brooks.
2. Login to Minecraft: Education Edition and open the world from the in-game library or from downloading the map from https://education.minecraft.net.
Minecraft world exploration:
3. Students spawn in the world in survival mode and arrive nauseous and in the dark. Then the beach comes into view, and the students see fallen arrows surrounding them. A message appears, “Ugh... where am I?”
4. The students are greeted by an NPC (Non-player character) on the beach. Students read the dialogue in standard form or by using the Immersive Reader icon for accessibility: “Whoa, where did you come from? Are you okay? You’ll need to get off this beach and somewhere safe before nightfall. Gather what you need before you leave. Look for items you can mine, or chests with materials in them, and craft what you think you may need.”
5. Students look around the beach and see items that they can gather; such as wood, berries, coal, flint, string, and feathers. To capture these items, students need to travel to the item in-game, then wait a few seconds for an item to appear that they can pick up. There is also a crafting table available. Students can use the table to craft items from their inventory and create new things. This is the creative, personalized element of this task.
6. Students gather materials into their inventory and craft new ones.
7. When finished, students walk to the next NPC, who says, “Ready to leave? Have all that you think you’ll need? I can clear this wall of snow for you when you are ready to continue your adventure.” Students press the button “I’m Ready” which will clear a path through the snowy mountain pass to make the path forward obvious
8. Students capture a screenshot of their inventory once they have finished gathering supplies.
9. Students write an explanation of what they gathered, why they selected it, and how it can be used to survive in the Minecraft world.
10. Students can submit this explanation through a Teams assignment in Word or OneNote, along with their screenshot.
Students submit a Flipgrid video detailing their inventory of items and the reason behind their selections instead of a written assignment. Have students who are more proficient in Minecraft post their videos first so students who are not as familiar with the game elements have ideas for their own writing.
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