Make & Model Gold Rush

Make & Model Gold Rush

6-7 yrs old

8-10 yrs old

11-13 yrs old

14-18 yrs old

18+ yrs old

Art and Design


Reading and Writing

Make and Model Gold Rush is part of a series of esports Minecraft worlds that promote organized, competitive & collaborative play for learning.

avatar Submitted By: Immersive Minds

June 22, 2020

Learning Objectives

  • Develop skills in visualization and 3D Thinking
  • Develop skills in effective team communication
  • Develop an understanding of the skills required to work effectively as part of a team
  • Reflect upon performance and decisions for improvement
  • Learn to use success criteria for peer assessment

Guiding Ideas

Make and Model Gold Rush is part of a series of esports Minecraft worlds that promote organized, competitive & collaborative play for learning a variety of cognitive and social and emotional skills. Set in a 19th Century Gold Rush town, students’ creative skills, decision-making, communication and collaboration are developed during these team-play competitive Minecraft build battles.

A build battle is a common gaming format in Minecraft, where competitors battle it out against the clock to build a given object, person or item. The creative skills developed here are related to visualization and 3D thinking – which are highly associated with success in STEM learning and careers.

This lesson extends the opportunities for learning, by inviting students to collaborate together to enable two teams, rather than two individuals to compete. This additional layer of complexity requires students to plan and agree a strategy, to decide upon roles or jobs that each team member will undertake, to communicate effectively, to evaluate progress and take quick decisions to amend their strategy during game-play, and importantly, to reflect upon their performance as a team, as well as on their product.

This lesson can be used as a creative or practical element in any curricular area or any learning theme. We recommend two teams of 4-6 students compete per game. Other students in the class can play in-game as spectators, and have the ability to ‘vote’ for the winning team.

An additional benefit of this lesson is that students can 3D print their builds by using an in-built structure block to export designs easily.

You can refer to the Instructional Playbook for step-by-step guidance on how to play the game.


Guiding Questions 

  • What are the features of a highly effective team?
  • How do successful teams communicate with each other?
  • How do successful teams plan and develop strategy together?
  • How do teams evaluate their performance?
  • What is reflection and how can it help individuals and teams evaluate and improve?


Teacher Preparation & Notes

Through discussion, reflection and other scaffolding approaches out-of-game, the role of the educator is essential in facilitating the development of effective skills for collaboration, peer assessment and reflection. Consider having students create their own Professional Play journal in which to develop their skills in self-evaluation and reflection.

Student Activities

  1. Propose an object for students to build. This world is based on the theme of Gold Rush, so invite students to offer themed suggestions, or choose an object suitable to the skill level of the class.
  2. If you wish to spend some time focusing on developing 3D thinking skills, provide teams with a 2D image of a geometric shape, and challenge them to build it in the 3D game environment. You can also reverse engineer this process and invite teams to build 3D shapes in-game and have the whole class draw them in 2D.
  3. Before beginning the game, invite students to consider how they will evaluate the builds. Setting clear criteria at the outset is important, since the winner will be decided by student spectators.
  4. Identify teams. We recommend between 4-6 players per team.
  5. During the build battle, you can invite spectating students to encourage the teams. Alternatively, you can invite student groups to take on other roles such as shoutcaster, press & media, team coaches, game-play analysts etc.
  6. After the battle, students can vote for the winning team by standing on the allocated voting platforms. They will have limited time to make up their minds, so ensure they are familiar with the criteria
  7. Make some time for students to reflect on their performance. Scaffold this activity by providing students with stimulus questions for their Professional Play journal.
  8. Invite students to use their reflections on performance to set goals for their next team-play.

Performance Expectations

Developing skills in Collaboration

Students will create a Professional Play Journal to accompany their learning journey. They will reflect upon and practice the skills required to perform as part of a successful team.


Developing Social & Emotional skills

Students will develop Social & Emotional learning skills, as they come to identify their own strengths in a team, as well as growing in their awareness of others’ abilities and needs.


Developing skills in Self-Directed Learning

Students will contribute to developing assessment criteria as well as using it for peer assessment, growing their confidence in giving and receiving feedback, understanding connections between learning goals and assessment, and shaping perspectives towards failure and resilience.