11-13 yrs old
Reading and Writing
Students prepare a hiding spot to spend the night safely.
March 24, 2021
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The Mountain - Minecraft World File
Minecraft world to support the lesson activities. Link will open in Minecraft: Education Edition.
The Mountain - Minecraft World File Direct Download
Minecraft world to support the lesson activities.
Minecraft: The Mountain Teacher's Guide
Additional ideas to provide vocabulary acquisition, discussion questions, fun interactive lessons, team-building activities and writing exercises.
About Minecraft: The Mountain
In the new official Minecraft novel from Max Brooks, a stranded hero stumbles upon another castaway—and discovers that teamwork might just be the secret to survival. Minecraft: The Mountain is a highly engaging novel for upper elementary and middle school students (Grades 5–8). The author uses Minecraft as a setting for lessons about friendship, teamwork, and resilience. Tying into these concepts and offering opportunities for deeper engagement this series of lesson plans can be taught in conjunction with reading the novel.
Students travel from the beach following the grass trail toward the mountain. They are stopped by another NPC who says they have too far to travel today, so they should build a shelter for the night to escape the creatures that emerge. The NPC tells the student there was a shelter here before, so to keep looking for it! There are supplies nearby to help rebuild a safe haven for the night. Students travel to the next NPC, but before they reach it, the snow collapses and they fall through a chasm to a cave below. Students find the hidden cave and begin rebuilding this hiding place using the supplies and materials they find. Then they design a real estate advertisement for their hiding place including photos, the elements that help keep out the enemies, and how the place can help someone survive. Use persuasive writing for their advertising campaigns, students design their final product.
• What can I create for my comfort and safety from the materials provided?
• How can I effectively communicate my designs to others?
Teacher preparation and notes:
• Standard(s) alignment:
Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer's purpose.
Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.
Link opinion and reasons using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., consequently, specifically).
Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.
• Ensure students have read up to chapter 5 in The Mountain by Max Brooks.
• Word list for chapter 5: suffice, hallucination, hovering, flexibility, stupor, ecstatic, stammered, sputtered, monologues, resigned, guffawed, disclosure, goatee, literally, sarcastically, gestures, rigid, angular, complicated, hazardous, alienate, gist, toxic, ghoul, taiga, nomadic, shambled, agriculture.
1. Read chapter 5 of The Mountain by Max Brooks.
2. Login to Minecraft: Education Edition and open the world worked on previously.
Minecraft world exploration:
3. Students travel from the beach area through the mountain pass after the snow has been cleared by the NPC button. Students follow the grass path.
4. Students are greeted by another NPC. Students read the dialogue in standard form or by using the Immersive Reader icon for accessibility: “You’ve come so far already. Great work! You should get ready to build a shelter for the night to escape from the creatures that will appear in the dark. There used to be a hideout in a cave up ahead. See if you can find it.”
5. Students see another NPC in the distance and head toward it.
6. When students near the NPC to read its dialogue, they are surprised to find the ground suddenly gives way and they fall through the snow into a chasm below.
7. Once at the bottom of the chasm, students walk to find a way out. They find an underground hideaway that is abandoned.
8. An NPC in the cave states, “You’ll be safe here for a good rest. This shelter isn’t set up very well, though. Use the supplies in the chest to make yourself comfortable. You may have to do some crafting to create what you need. You will need to craft a button or lever to get out the door.”
9. In a chest in the corner, students discover wool, dye, wood, sand, coal, cobblestone, and other items they can use to craft and smelt artifacts to furnish the underground hiding place.
10. For students new to Minecraft, suggest first making a crafting table and then making a bed to sleep in, and torches to light the space.
11. Students will see an iron door to exit the underground space. It will not open until students have crafted a button or lever, placed it on the wall next to the door, and engaged it to open the door. Students should not leave the space until they are finished with their furnishings and have captured their screenshots for the assessment.
12. Students capture screenshots of their decorations of the underground space. This may include bookshelves, wall art, a colored bed, potted plants, glass, and other ideas. Encourage creativity!
13. Students design an advertisement, like a real estate ad, to show off their designs. Begin by exploring current real estate advertisements on a local website (Redfin.com or another similar site).
14. Students can use Sway, PowerPoint, Publisher, Canva, Genially, or many other tools to create their advertisement.
15. Students should submit their advertisement to the teacher for assessment.
Students create a video with narration instead of a static advertisement with text and images. Consider having students watch other real estate videos (often created with drones and 3D cameras).
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