Slice of Life: Learning Minecraft

(This is part of Slice of Life, a weekly writing feature hosted via Two Writing Teachers. Narrow your lens. Write. Share.)


You’d think with all the video game design work I do with my students that I would have already been kneedeep into Minecraft. My students certainly are. Me? Not much. No real reason except time to dive in always slips away from me, but now that my youngest son is using and loving Minecraft (and even joined a Minecraft club at our public library), I figured it was time to dip my toes into the blocks, so to speak.

So, I asked my son, teach me Minecraft.

Doghouse construction

And we proceeded to spend about 45 minutes with the Minecraft App (we also have the fuller version on the laptop), and together, he helped me build a doghouse for the dog/wolf that we spawned in the world that I began to create when we started to play in Creative — not Survival — mode. (Getting the vocabulary down …) I had to remind him to talk me through the learning, not do it himself. (such a teacher)

OK, so now I get a bit of the appeal of Minecraft. I was never quite oblivious to it but I can see how the building and wandering in the world is a pretty fascinating experience. I spent some time “flying” high above the world, watching the contours being drawn out in each direction. That was pretty nifty, to think we were in the map as it was being made.

And the dogs seemed pretty happy.

Peace (in the craft),

  1. As a parent, I find this lovely. I really need to get into this so I can understand it fully. And what better teachers than 10 and 6 year old boys? As I teacher, I’ve watched and read many sides of how to use Minecraft in the classroom. I may have just stumbled across our winter break project. Thanks.

  2. My students love this too. They are trying hard to get me to buy in. I get it in concept but haven’t taken the actual dive in you did to really get the appeal. You just got to try it. Thanks for the push>

  3. So now you’ve got me intrigued too. I thought it was just a video game, not a creative app. The best thing is learning from your son, though. Sounds like a happy time.

  4. My six year old daughter has recently become hooked on Minecraft, thanks to her cousin. Considering all the other junky “girl” games she plays on her iPad, I’m happy to encourage this Minecraft habit. When I watch her become obsessive about building her world, I think back to the days when I was obsessed with getting through Zelda or Mario Brothers, figuring out all the tricks and I understand how she feels!

  5. My sixth graders Loewe Minecraft – but I haven’t had the time (or the inclination) to wander in. Nice that it was something you could do with your son, though!

  6. My fourth graders were so into this game and I really have no idea what it is about. I remember them talking about a wolf in their writing. I may just have to check it out and get some of the lingo down pat to help with the all important relationship building in the first few weeks of school in Feb. Thank you for dong a test run for us all. 🙂

  7. Exciting isn’t it? You mentioned two aspects of Minecraft that go unnoticed. Being a part of a world in progress, always in flux, is captivating. Equally as engaging is being a part of a community of crafters. Have fun.

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