221: Are You Really Going to Let Us Play Video Games in Class? Minecraft in the Social Studies Classroom

Have your students ever complained that they can’t play video games in your classroom? Mine did, and it gave me an idea for a classroom activity that I knew they would love. 

This is the story of how we ended up playing Minecraft in my classroom to learn about social studies. 

My students were shocked when I said yes to letting them play video games in class, and because I listened to them and let them lead, they were engaged in the project right from the start. 

Now, I didn’t just set my students loose on the computers and let them do whatever they wanted. We talked as a class about the curriculum expectations for their project on the global community, they created a plan for how to demonstrate the curriculum expectations in Minecraft, and then they did it! 

I even learned a thing or two about Minecraft along the way. 

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • Leaning into your students’ ideas
  • How I used Minecraft to teach social studies 
  • Giving students the freedom to plan their own projects 
  • Being willing to learn from your students 
  • Trusting your students to lead activities 
  • The importance of communicating with your students 
  • Paying attention to comments from your students
  • How to make sure students are taking in the lesson when they are having fun 
  • What I would do differently if we played video games in my classroom again 

What I learned from this experience is how important it is to lean into my students’ suggestions every now and then. Pay attention to comments your students make in class and give them the power to decide what they want to do. Your class will have a great time, and you probably will too!

If you want to see the outline of our Minecraft activity and the steps we followed to implement it, go to www.madlylearning.com/minecraft to grab the project outline for free!

Resources Mentioned:

Get the Minecraft Project Outline for Free 

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Other Episodes You’ll Enjoy:

220: So You Need to Do Guided Instruction… What the Heck Should You Do With the Rest of Your Class?

219: Stop Taking Your Marking Home

218: Ideas for Teaching Middle School Writing with Celeste From Teaching Tomorrow

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