Teacher-Created Lesson Plan

Digital Personal Narrative

Make digital narratives using Minecraft: Education Edition
Sean A.
Technology coordinator
District 75 Central
New York, United States
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My Subjects Math, Science

Students will be able to...

  • create visual images describing themselves and their lives.
  • write their own personal experience as a story.
  • communicate about their personal story.
English Language Arts
Grades K – 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Portrait Introduction

Begin by showing students some self-portrait examples or a personal self-portrait. You can have them view the BrainPOP portrait video to get ideas. Guide with questions about both the physical appearance of the portrait as well as what emotion in may convey.

2 Self-Reflection

Ask students to think about who they are, what they like, and what's important to them. Get them to expand beyond personally physical descriptions. Ask them to think about a dramatic moment in their lives. Was it good or bad? How did they feel? What did that feeling look like? 

This can be done individually or as a group exercise using any type of shared whiteboard software. You can begin with the narrative vocabulary or starter sheets to get students beginning the process of self-examination.

3 My World

Students will be creating visual personal narrative stories. The world has 5 canvases that follow a river where students will create their pixel visual stories. At each station, students are greeted by an NPC with instructions on the type of art to create there. If they are capable they can be instructed to add slates to add information about the artwork. They include:

  • a self-portrait
  • a family/home design
  • favorite thing art
  • best day image
  • bad day image

You can access an example world.

4 Sharing Out

Students will then give guided tours of their worlds to other players/students as they describe to the visitors what they were thinking when the created the images. This can be done live in their world or via shared movies of their world using QuickTime, iMovie, or any other screen recording software.

5 Reflection

Facilitate a discussion or written reflection about strengths and weaknesses of the exhibitions as well as differences between this medium and traditional writing. Office Sway would be a great tool for students to present their reflections.

Use the discussion or written reflections to measure whether students were able accurately to portray to other students who they are and how they see themselves. The accuracy of the images is less important than that they convey the feeling the student was attempting to express.

A second component is how well the students guide other students during their tour. Are the students accurate with their descriptions or are they describing themselves more vividly than the image portrays or is the image more elaborate than the description?

Give the students suggestions to adjust either their tour statements or their images to be more accurate.