14-18 yrs old
Government and Politics
How was World War I different than any other wars before it? Topics covered include the causes of war, communication, strategy, and remembrance.
October 22, 2020
World War I Toybox world
Minecraft: Education Edition world file
Lesson Overview Video
Morse code decoding page
WWI Toybox interactive image
World War I Toybox Assessment
WWI Flight impact Notes PDF
WWI Flight impact Notes .DOC
National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies Themes
C3 Framework Dimensions
The World War I world in Minecraft allows students to see, interact with, and explore some of the elements of the conflict while using out-of-game research, reading, writing, reflection, discussion, and art to enrich the whole learning experience. This lesson set ensures that students in high school courses have a basic understanding of the primary elements of World War I in a memorable and engaging methodology. Topics covered include the causes of war, communication, strategy, and remembrance. World War I toybox is structured and broken into five lessons over 4 weeks x 60 minutes per day.
Lesson 1 of 5
What started World War I, which countries were involved, and how was it resolved?
Preparation and materials
Students begin by making a list in a notebook, journal, or document of all the things they already know about World War I. For many students, this list will be fairly short. Explain to students that the first thing they get to do is to observe the Minecraft world and make a list of their observations. They should write down what they see as well as questions they have about World War I based on their observations. For this purpose, you may choose to scaffold the lesson by providing a notes template or by encouraging students to use a graphic organizer.
It might be helpful to have students turn on game coordinates so they can tell where they are in the toybox. To do this, press escape from inside the game. Then choose Settings, stay in Game settings, and scroll down to Show coordinates.
Students enter the Minecraft: Education Edition world and are greeted by NPC President Woodrow Wilson. Students should return to NPC Wilson after this lesson, as his dialogue box contains links to the other lesson starting points: morse code, aviation, and trench warfare.
NPC Wilson says, "In this toybox you can observe pieces of the first great war. I was opposed to entering the war but finally relented in 1917. Make notes on what you see and write questions you go along. Remember, we should always strive for peace!"
Students should navigate the world to make observations and find clues to answer their own questions as well as core questions you have posed. Post these core questions on the board, in a class LMS, or other means for students to reference.
Give students access to a Padlet or other collaborative brainstorming tool. Ask students to add their questions to the Padlet. Students can use the commenting and organization tools in Padlet to categorize their responses as well as dialogue with others.
Then distribute or assign Padlet questions to individual students or student pairs. Students need to find the answers to their assigned questions and post them back to the class Padlet with links to their references included.
Give students time to review the responses to the Padlet questions and the reference materials that have been posted.
Direct students to script a 90-second response to the question, "What started World War I, which countries were involved, and how was it resolved?" Each student should post his/her response to the FlipGrid topic as a video response.
Students write a 90-second explanation of the causes, characters, and resolution of World War I (writing).
Allow students to watch selected video clips that show actual footage from World War I.
Contribution to Padlet
4 - Student posted more than two questions and more than two responses to the class Padlet. All student posts and comments contributed to the deeper thinking of the entire class.
3 - Student posted at least two questions and two responses to the class Padlet. Student posts and comments contributed to the thinking of the entire class.
2 - Student posted at least two questions to the class Padlet. Student posts helped direct the questions of the group.
1 - Student needs to contribute more often or more thoughtfully to the class Padlet. Your voice is important to our learning team!
4 - Student response completely answers the guiding question in a way that draws the viewer in and provides new information previously unrevealed.
3 - Student response completely answers the guiding question, is presented in an organized way, and includes interesting tidbits of detail.
2 - Student response mostly answers the guiding question, is easy to understand, and includes at least one interesting detail.
1 - Student response needs to include more details, should stay focused on the guiding question, or lacks organization.
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