Friday, April 11, 2014

Breaking it Down

Mrs. Arcaya
The Digestive System project completed a couple of weeks ago, and I am remiss for not posting earlier, but the teacher, Mrs. Arcaya, was so happy with the success of that project that we started another one right away. And it was her eagerness to try new things in the classroom that prompted us to buy MinecraftEdu in the first place. She is truly an early adopter.

But this post is dedicated to share some pictures of the digestive system in Minecraft.  The teacher had surveyed the students and found about half had Minecraft experience. The students made the decision that a team of students would build a model and the other students would take a tour of it.  

Enter through the chomping teeth in the head.

The model creators

The four young men decided they would turn it into a scavenger hunt. They built teeth into various places of the body where you would not expect to find teeth.  They also relocated stomach enzymes in other places.  It was up to the classmates to find the teeth, return them to the mouth and return the enzymes to the stomach. (Return areas were chests.) The boys put signs everywhere describing the kinds of digestion one would find in each area and they placed chests of books for their tourists to read more about digestion in the model. 

One problem though - we found out that MinecraftEdu in single player mode deletes the text off signs.  It is a known bug. They really want students playing together.

We ended up playing in multiplayer and the students just listed on the accompanying worksheet where they found the teeth instead of digging them up and taking them to the chests. As they went through the system, students completed a worksheet about the various forms of digestion, and what kinds of digestion took place in each.

The four young men who created them model monitored the student 'tourists' to get feedback on their creation.

Mission Message.

Saliva is represented by water. Climb the ladder to the brain.

Users rode the rails to get to the body.

Students taking the 'tour'.

Informational Signs inside.

Let me also introduce you to my biggest helper getting started with MinecraftEdu. Ryan is an 8th grader and has started many servers in the public sector and has been an avid player for many years. He showed me many possibilities of what this sandbox game has to offer.

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