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Reading and Writing Minecraft

6-7 yrs old

8-10 yrs old

11-13 yrs old

Reading and Writing

Students read "Escape from the Overworld," a chapter book for ages 7-12 that takes place as if Minecraft is real, then create their own books.

avatar Submitted By: Danica Davidson

August 23, 2018

Skills

  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking

External References

Danica Davidson's Writing Advice For Kids and Classrooms
https://danicadavidson.com/writing-advice

Tips and suggestions on writing, lists of ideas, and the first page of Escape from the Overworld's rough draft to compare-and-contrast revisions.

Scholastic Story Starters
http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/story-starters/

Story starters from Scholastic to help kids write in different genres.

Grammar Games
https://www.education.com/games/grammar/

Free online grammar games to help kids.

Learning Objectives

  • Reading and strengthening literacy. Writing creative prompts that get kids comfortable, imaginative and excited about writing stories. After stories are written, grammar and spelling can be discussed to correct any errors. Story prompts include compare and contrast lessons (our world versus Stevie’s world) and adding depth and complexity to what they’ve already read.

Guiding Ideas

Students read Escape from the Overworld (it can be done in class, possibly with the help of the audio book, so that students can read or listen along). Because many students are interested in Minecraft, and may not be aware of books dealing with Minecraft, this shows them that whatever interests them can also take a literary form. In other words, they are given the go-ahead to write about what interests them and at the same time it lets them know that there are books out there for whatever subjects they like. This can lead to children being more comfortable writing about their passions and seeking out books on their favorite subjects. After the project is done, kids can make lists of things that interest them and the class can take a trip to the school library and see what they find.

After reading, students complete writing assignments.

For revision time, students can see the first page of Escape from the Overworld's rough draft and compare it to the final book (check Danica Davidson's Writing Advice for Kids and Classrooms to see rough draft). This lets them know that revision is a normal process of writing. They can also see concrete examples of how writing was revised to sound better.

Student Activities

Choose one or more activities (I recommend activities be multiple choice so students pick which one(s) spark their imagination the most). Students can also illustrate their stories and turn them into little books.

  • Imagine you’re from Minecraft and you just saw Earth for the first time. What would you notice that’s different? Stevie thinks fingers look like squid tentacles and he wonders if putting carrots in front of cars make them go. What would you think of how small spiders are, how people don’t carry around swords, or how you don’t make everything with blocks, etc.? In addition to a writing prompt, this could be a class discussion where students share ideas; it can get them to look at things they take for granted and see them from a new angle, prompting curiosity. It is good for comparing and contrasting.
  • Oh no! You’re Stevie and a creeper just blew up your tree house. Your dad isn’t around to help you today. What do you do to save yourself and defeat the mobs? This allows students to get creative and problem solve.
  • You just got Stevie (or you own Minecraft character creation) as a foreign exchange student at your school. What do you think might happen the first day you show him (or her) around school and your neighborhood? Do you think mobs might still get out of the portal and come to your school? Another good set-up for compare-and-contrast writing.
  • You tell Stevie you’re a fan of Minecraft, so he takes you and Maison back home with him. What sort of adventures might you have together? What monsters might you run into, and what can happen? What can you build together? This delves into compare-and-contrast, creativity and problem-solving. If they build something together, this could lead into a math lesson.
  • If you already have a Minecraft character you’ve created (it might be of you!) write a story about your adventures in Minecraft. This really allows students freedom in their creativity.
  • If students are unsure about Minecraft, encourage them to create their own fantasy world, with whatever creatures or monsters they want to have in it. Perhaps they could study a world mythology and create their own world around it, allowing them both creativity and the chance to learn new things.

Performance Expectations

  • Students read Escape from the Overworld and write one or more writing prompts.
  • In order to get kids comfortable writing, I would not stress spelling or grammar when they’re getting ideas down. If they’re worried about everything they write, they might get distracted or scared and have trouble following their train of thought. After the story is written, however, I would go over the stories and correct any spelling or grammar mistakes. I would recommend telling kids the importance of spelling and grammar, but also point out that professional writers also have to go over and correct their stories, too. So any corrections are not a reason to feel bad; the corrections are just to help them improve.
  • Length of story can depend on students’ age. I would recommend it at least be a certain length, but don’t discourage students who want to go longer. If students want, they can share their books with the class.
  • The whole point of this is to get kids into reading and let them feel creative in their own stories. In other words, it’s meant to be educational, stimulating and fun.  Lessons can be tweaked as needed to bring out the most success for individual students and classrooms.

Skills

  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking

External References

Danica Davidson's Writing Advice For Kids and Classrooms
https://danicadavidson.com/writing-advice

Tips and suggestions on writing, lists of ideas, and the first page of Escape from the Overworld's rough draft to compare-and-contrast revisions.

Scholastic Story Starters
http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/story-starters/

Story starters from Scholastic to help kids write in different genres.

Grammar Games
https://www.education.com/games/grammar/

Free online grammar games to help kids.