How It Started
Mrs. Y asked me if we could incorporate Minecraft PE into her plate tectonics & volcano unit. I thought it would be great to have students create a diagram of a volcano and a plate tectonic boundary.
Here is a short description of what we did for the project:
1. Research Specific Boundary and Volcano
I created a graphic organizer with Google Slides that contained the objectives of the project, links and videos of grade-appropriate resources, and student work examples.
According to MinecraftSeeds.co, a seed is a specific number that generates a particular world. Seeds allow players to share unique worlds that they find with one another. If all your students type in a specific seed number when creating their local game, they would all generate the same world. I googled “extreme hills seeds” for a world that would provide numerous mountains I can use for my volcano. I ended up finding seed# 975281896. After exploring this world, I find a location that I thought would be best for my students to create their diagrams. I created the picture below to help my students find the specific area. Image 3 is where my students would create their volcano. Image 4 is where they would create their boundary.
3. Create a Volcano Diagram
I used the mountain in image #3 to create my volcano diagram. For Minecraft beginners, I would recommend using red wool to create the lava in their mountain. Only advanced players should be allowed to use real lava because containing it can be tricky. I used glass blocks contain the lava in my volcano. The image below shows the magma chamber of the volcano. Make sure to have students label the different parts of their diagrams. You can also use the glass blocks to create a container at the top of the volcano to make it look like lava is spewing out of the vent. I used black wool above the vent of the volcano to create an ash cloud.
4. Create a Boundary Diagram
5. Video Portion of the Project
Students will need to record themselves describing the diagrams they created using Minecraft. This will demonstrate their mastery of the key concepts in the unit through the video. The video would be edited with iMovie and then uploaded to the teacher’s YouTube channel. I would make sure to have students not record their faces, or say their full name in the video. I would also recommend uploading the recording as an “unlisted” video.