Using Minecraft For Homeschool History and Science LessonsTicia Messing
I have three kids that are nuts for Minecraft. They love to play it, talk about it, and even read books it. I’ve even started incorporating Minecraft into our homeschool lessons. There are the obvious Minecraft applications where kids learn problem solving as they figure out how to make the diamond sword or defeat the Ender dragon. But there are a few less obvious subjects where you can use Minecraft.
Minecraft for Homeschool Science Lessons
A lot of elementary and middle school science is building models of what you’re studying:
- a model of a cell
- a model of the solar system
- a model of a molecule
What if you took that same idea but built it virtually in Minecraft? .Imagine how enthusiastic your children would be.
In addition they are learning a very small bit of programming as they figure out what pieces they have to put in to get what they’re wanting. You can’t just pick a certain type of block, you have to gather the materials and then make it.
Let’s take this idea beyond building models and add it to a problem solving lesson.
We’re about halfway through studying all of the different animals in our Christian Kids Explore Biology textbook. Earlier we went on a field trip to the zoo where we learned that zoologists have to carefully plan which animals to put where to manage visitor traffic flow and keep the animals calm. When we’ve finished studying all of the different animals, my children are going to build a zoo inside Minecraft. They have to weigh many criteria for this project:
- which animals will be most popular
- placement of bathrooms, snack stands, and gift shops
- which animals will be noisy
- how big the habitats need to be
Another idea would be to have your children design a biome. They would research and then create inside the game the correct types of plants, animals, and topography.
Minecraft for Homeschool History Lessons
Minecraft is perfect for The Mystery of History Vol. I where you study The Wonders of the World. Imagine the enthusiasm your child will have when you say, “Now go build the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.”
We recently read (and watched) Johnny Tremain, and the kids designed a Minecraft version of the city of Boston during the Revolutionary Era. We did have some discussions that Boston did not have a mine shaft roller coaster, but otherwise there was a lot of thought put into their creations.
After we finished our lesson about Walter Raleigh from The Mystery of History Volume III , the kids used Minecraft to build the lost colony of Roanoke together. I didn’t even have to assign that lesson because they were so excited about the possibilities of creating it virtually inside Minecraft.
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