Background Knowledge and Discovery Education
To build background knowledge about different types of communities, I started by using Board Builder from Discovery Education. Board Builder allows you to create an interactive poster with embedded videos.
I chose an overview video of communities and in the text there is a link to a padlet about communities. This video and padlet was used to model how to do research and document the research as each group.
After modeling how to use the video to find information and transfer that information to the padlet, students were divided into three groups. Students logged into their Discovery Education account and searched for the community board. Depending on which community they were assigned to, they clicked on the link at the bottom of the board to connect to another board specifically designed for the community that they would be focusing on.
The padlet proved to be an excellent opportunity for students to learn how to work in a collaborative space as many students started to type over each other. It was a perfect opportunity to discuss how collaborative spaces actually require us to communicate with each other more.
After about 20 minutes of research, groups were called back to share their padlets with the whole group.
Day 2 started with reviewing the important structures of the different communities as well as establishing expectations of how to work in a multiplayer world. The first time that I did this lesson, students started by designing their house. This was a big mistake as many students could spend weeks designing their house and this is not the purpose of the project.
So this time, we started by talking about how we would be using a blueprint of our community where each team would be writing what building they would be designing and who their team members were. This really helped as many structures took longer than one day or less than one day so students could refer back to what the rest of their team was building. It also gave students an opportunity to change their teams with different structures. The blueprint is just a simple large piece of white paper with the label of the community on it.
Our next step was to create a very basic list of expectations that we would need to build and work in our communities. This list was very basic and challenges would soon arise.
Challenges to be ready for:
- potions (disappearing, energy, etc)
- masks and armor
- flying around
It was determined that only building tools could be in the building tray and if a community member violated the expectations, they would be provided an alternative activity.
After establishing the expectations, I introduced the world to students. Our world can be found in the Minecraft Edu worlds that are available to educators to download. All students spawned in the tree house and then followed the path to their community. Green is the rural area. Red are the two suburbs. Purple is the urban area. The area is designed with border blocks so students are not able to fly into other communities rather they can only be moved if I use the teacher menu to transport them.
At this time no animals are enabled. The setting is creative, peaceful, and night is not enabled. I wanted students to have the materials that they needed to focus on designing the community in a collaborative space. At the end of the building day, I used the teacher menu to freeze students so that we could meet to share. One important part of the building process is sharing what went well. Each group was asked to share what was working well because I knew that soon we would be hitting more difficult challenges and I wanted to establish positive examples.
Originally posted on iCreate iLearn.