11-13 yrs old
Reading and Writing
Students finish challenges to save animals in the Nether.
March 24, 2021
Learn to Play: Using the Book & Quill | Minecraft: Education Edition
Tutorial 4. Camera, Portfolio, and Book & Quill | Minecraft: Education Edition
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 will enter the Nether, where they are greeted by an NPC who tells them that hoglins and piglins have captured a variety of animals and stashed them around the Nether. Knowing that these animals are important creatures, students go to save them. Students must solve challenges to save the animals and lead them back through the Nether on leads or ride them back to the portal. After completing these challenges, students use the book and quill to write a personal reflection about how they used each element of Guy’s “Way of the Cube” to complete their tasks. This personal narrative writing explains how students use planning, preparation, priorities, practice, patience, and perseverance to finish the challenges and ultimately conquer these tough situations.
• How does planning, preparation, priorities, practice, patience, and perseverance help us navigate difficult situations?
Teacher preparation and notes:
• Standard(s) alignment:
Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another.
Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.
Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.
• Ensure students have read up to chapter 19 in The Mountain by Max Brooks.
• Word list for chapter 19: hallucination, deprivation, crimson, verdant, biome, luminous, stubby, angular, levity, catapulted, pivoting, melee, porcine, juggernaut, lorry, taunted, audible, cavorting, mused, sweltering, detour, expletive, peninsula.
1. Read chapter 19 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 to the Nether portal in the mountain base. It is located at (-2200 80 2861). An NPC in the upstairs corridor directs students downstairs, and signage downstairs shows the students how to find the Nether portal.
4. Once inside the room, students are greeted by an NPC. Students read the dialogue in standard form or by using the Immersive Reader icon for accessibility: “The hoglins and piglins have kidnapped many of our animals. They are held hostage in the Nether. You’ll have to use all your skills to get the animals back to the mountain base. Remember the Way of the Cube!”
5. Students enter the Nether through the portal and are greeted by another NPC, who says, “There are five animals trapped down here, as well as tools you might need to help free them. Make a plan, prepare with resources, prioritize what to do first, practice your skills, and have patience in finding solutions. Follow the Red Nether brick to find the animals. You may need to create some structures around them to help you rescue them. Take the tools I offer to help you. You’ll be sure to succeed.”
6. At this point, opt to have students complete all five challenges or choose just a few. Teachers can differentiate by asking students to work in teams, work individually, focus on one animal each, or set a time limit to complete as many quests as possible.
7. To complete all five challenges, students need to find:
a. Sheep (-366 63 195) – Bring back with a lead from a chest.
b. Cow (-370 67 107) – Bring back with a lead from a chest.
c. Horse (-447 60 67) – Ride using a saddle from a chest.
d. Chicken (-372 59 47) – Lead with seeds from a chest.
e. Pig (-424 61 149) – Ride using a saddle from a chest, using a fishing rod and carrot to guide the pig.
8. To get animals back through the portal, students need to lead the animal to the portal and then guide each through on its own. This might take the Way of the Cube to figure out!
9. If players die trying, they respawn at the entrance to the Nether portal to try again.
10. Students reflect on how they used the Way of the Cube elements to solve the challenges (planning, preparation, priorities, practice, patience, and perseverance).
11. Students write their reflection using the book and quill received from the NPC at the entrance of the mountain base.
12. Each page in the book and quill should contain one of the six Way of the Cube components and a reflection of how the student used it during the challenges.
13. Once students have signed the book, they can export the Book as a .pdf file to submit to the teacher for assessment as a Teams assignment or other collection method.
Students can read their book to the teacher while screencasting in Flipgrid, Stream, or another screen cast tool. Students submit this video as their final assessment instead of the .pdf.
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