Highlights from the December Student Build Challenge: Modeling Gratitude

December’s Monthly Student Build Challenge was all about Modeling Gratitude. Positive social activities like expressing gratitude can lead to stronger relationships and improved quality of life, and they may motivate us to give back to our community. December’s challenge invited students to visualize a time another person did something to benefit them, then use Minecraft: Education Edition to build a scene with images and words to express this episode.

Students around the world came up with creative ways to express thankfulness for the kindness they’ve experienced. We were excited to hear teachers describing the social-emotional learning (SEL) at work during this game-based challenge, which encouraged students to reflect on empathy and communicate their feelings. We’d like to share some of their work with the community!

James Yanuzelli’s New Jersey students used green-screen to enter their Minecraft worlds and describe their scenes of gratitude. Watch the video they created as a class!

Ms. Beckles’ class in New Zealand created their projects, then shared them with each other using Microsoft Teams. One student shared a moment of empathy, while another remembered a time when a fellow student helped them with a math problem.

A dialog box in Minecraft: Education Edition reading "Hey Julianne what's going on are you ok what's going on? I am"

Andy Kneuven from Illinois shared a video of his students discussing their work in progress, including a playground act of generosity and moments when teachers helped learners. One scene featured a working lift-chair for a teacher! Here’s a quick video of their work on Twitter.

A student plays Minecraft: Education Edition on a laptop

Finally, Steven Payne connected with some Australian students for the day and worked with them to create a gratitude theme park in Minecraft: Education Edition! He shared this digital collage of their build.

A series of cells showing several Minecraft: Education Edition builds

It’s heartwarming to see so many expressions of gratitude manifested in digital blocks. We want to thank everyone who joined in, and we hope you’ll take part in January’s Build Challenge: Mapping our World. Learn how your students can join in and earn the chance to be featured on our blog here: https://aka.ms/MappingOurWorld

If you’re new to Minecraft: Education Edition and want to bring challenges and activities like these to life in your classroom, get started today!