Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month with New Lessons and a Free Demo World

Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month are important opportunities to teach students about the history of Civil Rights and the ongoing struggle for social justice and racial equity. To celebrate, we’re offering four new lessons and a free demo experience to support teachers as they address these critical topics. Students can learn about the life and activism of Dr. King, investigate ideas behind identity, experience important moments in the American Civil Rights movement, and learn how Black Lives Matter is continuing the work of racial justice.

We want everyone to be able to engage with equity and inclusion, so we’re making our Good Trouble world available as a free demo from January 14 to March 31. This immersive experience is based on the life and teachings of Civil Rights leader and US Congressman John Lewis. It invites learners on a journey through historic and present-day social movements around the world, from the Victorian Suffragettes and the struggle for Indian independence to Malala’s Yousafzai’s fight for women’s education in Pakistan, and more!

Plus, we have two new accompanying lessons on the modern Black Lives Matter and US Civil Rights movements that will help you support conversations and learning around Black History Month. Anyone with a Windows device, Mac, iPad, or Chromebook can access this world as login-free demo. Just download Minecraft: Education Edition and enter the free demo experience to explore the impact that stirring up good trouble can have on the world.

To help educators prepare for leading Black History Month lessons with this new content, we’re also hosting two virtual lesson jams. These free, online playthrough parties featuring the creators of the Good Trouble world will introduce the key concepts behind the learning content and how you can use it with students. They’re also a great chance to connect with other educators! Register now to join our team on February 4 at 9:00 AM or 4:00 PM PT.

Four New Lessons on Social Justice, Identity, and Civil Rights

Who is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?
Students work together to create museum galleries depicting different aspects of Dr. King’s identity. This lesson unpacks the social factors that contributed to his identity, his personal characteristics, how he influenced others, and more.

Martin Luther King Jr. stands in front of a columned museum entrance.

The “I” in Identity
In this lesson, students reflect on who they are, what shapes them, and how they might appear to others. Learners build and curate a museum collection to represent aspects of their identities and share them with their peers. They’ll also come to understand the visible and non-visible elements of identity.

Good Trouble: US Civil Rights
Meet the activists of the US Civil Rights Movement as they march, ride, sit, and stand to act as catalysts for Good Trouble, racial justice, and equality. Enter the Good Trouble world to visit famous moments in the history of the movement. Destinations include the confrontation with police on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the Greensboro Lunch Counter Sit-Ins, and Rosa Parks’ protest against public segregation.

Good Trouble: Black Lives Matter
Head into the Good Trouble world to join activists in Black Lives Matter Plaza as they stand together as catalysts for good trouble and seek racial justice for the Black community. Learn about some of the key motivations for the movement, its cultural context, its outcomes on society, and how de-centralized activism can be a powerful force for change.

These lessons were authored by Felisa Ford, Dr. Natasha Rachell, and Ken Shelton with support from Teaching Tolerance. A project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance provides free resources to support social justice and anti-bias education in K-12 schools.

We’re proud to provide ways for students to activate their passion for empathy and inclusion. We hope that getting to know key figures in the fight for social justice will inspire young people to build a better world for everyone through the power of play.

If you’re new to Minecraft: Education Edition, take your first steps into game-based learning at education.minecraft.net/get-started.