Lesson Plan

Redesign Your School!

A Minecraft adventure for students to replace their current school/
Randall B.
TSS, TIS, Educator, Blogger, & EdTech Consultant
Putnam County Schools, WV
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, World Languages, English Language Learning, Health & Wellness
EdTech Mentor
Objectives

Students will be able to...

  1. Research the best practices of school design to prepare to do so themselves
  2. Think critically to solve problems related to school construction and design
  3. Design a school that best meets the needs of their own community by working collaboratively with their peers
  4. Use Minecraft and other tools to put their plans into action
Subjects
Math
geometry
graphing
measurement
shapes
Science
engineering
measurement
Social Studies
civic engagement
cultural understanding
Arts
design
drawing
Grades 6 - 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Introduction

Activity: Conversing
  • Discuss with the students the idea behind what a school needs.
  • Review the idea of wants vs. needs with students to ensure that they grasp the key differences
Student Instructions
  • Students will take part in a discussion of what they feel a school needs. They will take into consideration the difference between wants and needs to ensure that the school meets its basic purposes for the community

2 What makes a school great physically?

  • Direct students to research using the two provided sites as a starting point to determine what is best to have when designing a school.
  • Direct them to expand their research beyond these two sites to find interesting information to help them in designing their school later in the lesson.
Student Instructions
  • Start their investigation at the two sites provided.
  • Expand their investigation to other sites and sources of information.
  • Begin to build a list of the requirements they feel are NEEDED, not wanted, for a great school.

3 Design your School!

Activity: Creating
  • Groups up students into groups of 4 to 6.
  • Ask them to work collaboratively to design a school to replace their existing one.
  • Provide them with a list of requirements for their school:
    • Office Space for Administration, Counselors, etc.
    • Athletic facilities to meet the same needs as their current school
      • Gymnasium
      • Athletic fields
      • etc.
    • Classroom spaces for core and related arts content areas
      • Art and Music Rooms designed specifically for that purpose
      • Content Classrooms designed with that area of study in mind
    • Medical/health services
    • Bathrooms
    • Cafeteria & Kitchen
    • Storage spaces
    • Technology?
      • Computer labs?
      • Networks?
      • etc.
    • Emergency exits
      • If more than one floor, how will emergency exits be handled?
  • Remind them to keep in mind the information they obtained from their research on school design and to decide on what they feel are the needs of their community with this school.
  • Decisions made in the group must be done so by a majority consensus.
Student Instructions
  • Work in groups with their peers to design a school to replace their current one.
  • Design the layout of their school using graph paper, colored pencils, markers, etc. in preparation of transferring this design into Minecraft.
  • Submit their plan for approval to their teacher before construction can begin.

4 Minecraft your School!

Minecraft
$26.95 for desktop, $19.99 for consoles (except Wii U at $29.99)
  • Review the basics of Minecraft with students
  • Allow them to explore to learn the game further
  • Direct them to work collaboratively to construct the school they have designed in the previous step of the lesson.
Student Instructions
  • Students will continue to work in their groups to build the school they have designed using Minecraft (which every version works best for your setting).
  • Students need to pay attention to their plans and details during construction to ensure they build a school that matches their plans.

5 Share your school.

Activity: Exploring
  • Have students allow others from outside their group investigate their school in Minecraft and provide them with feedback on their school design.
  • Have students share this feedback using a collection tool like Google Forms or Office 365 Forms.
  • Share feedback with each group and allow them to decide if they want to make any changes to their school based on that feedback.
Student Instructions
  • Allow other students from outside their group explore their school.
  • Accept feedback from their peers to see what they might have done differently or what they feel they did well.
  • Decide if feedback shared is reason to do any redesign work on the created school.
    • If so, make revisions and changes before submitting to the teacher for a final assessment.

6 Assessment

Activity: Assessing
  • Score students created schools using the following criteria:
    • Does it have all the required items?
      • Yes or No?
    • Does the school  meet the defined needs of their community?
      • Yes or No?
    • Did the students work collaboratively during the design and construction phases of the project?
      • Student self- and peer-assessments could help score this criteria.
    • Did the group respond to feedback and make any changes they deemed necessary for the project?
      • Yes or No?
Student Instructions
  • Notify teacher of completed school design for assessment.