Lesson Plan

Escape from Everest - #WithMathICan

While playing Minecraft students will work on problem solving, teamwork, and enviornmental responsabilty
James T.
Classroom teacher
Saint Benedict Prep, Chicago, Illinois
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies
EdTech Mentor

Students will master problem-solving strategies while completing this scenario. Students will be solving smaller problems in big problems, drawing pictures for planning, creating a models in game, creating a to-build/to-do list, use logical reasoning all while learning about sustaining a balance between a growing economic activity and environmental protection. By learning from others by discussion and reflections students will continually be recording these discoveries as they are found.

Social Studies
Grades 4 - 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook - Scouting Session

Activity: Exploring

*Disclaimer this activity is only for teachers familiar with Minecraft already.  Also i did not create this scenario, however if you wish to download this it and for further information visit http://services.minecraftedu.com/worlds/node/27

To begin this massive scenario where students are tasked with establishing a colony and re-greening the earth, the prep period is very important. However, i felt it was important to show them the scenario and have them observe their environment. 

Have them log into the game and appoint them all explorers, their job is to scout out the area and observe and take note of the terrain, resources, available building areas, and begin thinking about what their task

EXPLAIN - the situation to students and establish their goal. Their goal is to"regreen" the earth, set up a colony, and fuel up a rocket ship to notify the other humans to their survival. 

Student Instructions

Setting the scene

Within this Minecraft world students awake (after 200 years) to a world where the polar ice caps have melted leaving the only dry land being the top of Mt. Everest. The other humans were able to flee to another world using rocket ships but are unaware that the home world is alive and well. 


2 Prep Period - Student Planning and Research

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Free to Try, Paid

Before you let the students play, you must have them research and plan. Once you begin your expedition students will need to be aware of how to set up a colony. Have students spend a class researching different town setups. Have them complete a Pinterset board, a Padlet display, or even a Popplet! Students will not need to go super in depth since they will be creating their own town. But they will need to be aware of some of the basic design features, examples of successful colonies established during the colonial era. Even information from NASA on futuristic colonization. For example;

  • What type of roof would be best to build in our environment?
  • What type of materials will we have available in our environment
  • Where buildings are essential for our survival
  • What types of crops would be best to farm in the beginning stages of an early community?
  • What is a colony, and why is it important that we have one. give me some examples of colonies that failed and some reason on why they failed.
  • What do i mean by re-greening the earth, and why is it important

3 Independent Practice - Game Time

This is by far the most amount of time you will spend in this lesson. Its almost impossible to predict what will happened to your students. The best thing to do is guide them when necessary, but allow them to learn from their mistakes. Teamwork is crucial and problem solving is also extremely important. Both will come up a lot within this simulation and students will react differently to it.

I suggest having the students establish roles/jobs within the town. Students tend to take this game very seriously and will put a lot of effort into it. For example

  • Engineers- Create large projects such as homes, town buildings that all will use
  • Farmer - Tasked with planting/growing/ and spreading as many plants as possible
  • Government - In charge of organizing and creating projects for the builders to complete. In charge of gathering materials for the space flight



4 Wrap up - Reflection

The end game to this simulation is that the students plant enough trees, establish a town, and fuel up a spaceship to let the other humans aware of the current situation and success of a town. Once those challenges are complete, the simulation is all done.

Having a discussion after, or having the students take and keep a journal throughout is a great way to wrap up the learning and allow the students to reflect on what they did, and what they learned while playing the game.

  • What was an unexpected challenge?
  • How did your group do ?
  • Did any other group do this differently? Why?
  • What did you think of that?
  • Was there a time when there was a disagreement in the group? How did you resolve it?
  • Was there a time where a certain class was treated unfairly? What happened? What was the solution?
  • Looking back what was the most import goal to establishing a successful colony?