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Are you using Minecraft to motivate writing?

Is anyone actively using Minecraft to motivate writing, particularly with reluctant writers? How are you using Minecraft for this? Is Minecraft used before, or after the writing, or does the writing occur within the game? How do you manage this, and how successful are you finding it to be?

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  • Roimata Baker (View all users posts) 01 Apr 2014 2:54pm ()

    Kiaora Carol

    I recall a quick chat at ULearn about how Minecraft was used to recreate the worlds of stories read by students.  Character, setting, plots were all recreated.  I would add that an app like Screencastify might also be used to provide commentary/narration of the student's choosing.  This particular teacher (gosh I wish I remember her name) has blogged about the success she's had with her students.  She even held a Minecraft evening which needless to say - they loved.  My question is, how could I set this up? I must ask a few seniors as I'd loove to do this with my year 7-10s.  

  • Carol Kendall (View all users posts) 01 Apr 2014 4:31pm ()

    Thanks, Roimata

    Yes, I'm interested to talk to someone who is actually doing this - how to take those first steps, and how successful it is, how long it takes etc. Thanks for the tip about Screencastify - that sounds useful, once you have uploaded something to to YouTube, I guess. I do tend to use QuickTime Player to record the screen for Minecraft, but it makes huge files. I'm interested in this for students from Year 3-8.

  • Monika Kern (View all users posts) 01 Apr 2014 3:20pm ()

    Hi Carol,

    not sure if it is relevant, and you might have seen it on twitter before, Kelli Fay-Wolfe has tweeted about Quest for Justice, a book 16y old Sean has written set in Minecraft. Maybe this could inspire some writers?

    Looking forward to hearing how you go!

    Monika

  • Carol Kendall (View all users posts) 01 Apr 2014 5:01pm ()

    Thanks Monika - I've forwarded the information about this book to our Librarian and some teachers who were interested in books for reluctant readers. It looks really interesting!

  • Carol Kendall (View all users posts) 01 Apr 2014 4:35pm ()

    Just exploring online (as you do....) and came across the Minecraft Reality app - I can see potential for this to be used to encourage writing for younger students, but I checked the reviews on the iTunes Store before deciding to spend $2.59 on the app, and it doesn't look particularly reliable. I think I'll look into it further. I'll let you know if I give it a go.

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 02 Apr 2014 9:53am ()

    Thanks for starting this thread Carol. Sorry for repeating myself (originally posted in Minecraft Teachers group) about sharing the potential for Minecraft to be used in Literacy.

    Here's one example I'm aware of. 2012 Manawatu Digi Awards Animation Award winner for Year 7-8, Charlie Johnson (Whakarongo School), with his digital version of the The Highwayman.

    It blew me away - on the clarity of the narration, the problem-solving and thinking that would have needed to go into using the right tools in Minecraft to recreate this tale. Absolutely stunning!  

    Lyn Ross was involved in the Manawatu Digi Awards and might be able to shed some light on this process.

    I know a 6yr old who spends hours making Minecraft worlds with written instructions - the worlds are effectively a game within a game. Anyone interested in gaming to support literacy and other curriculum areas, might also be interested in,

    Gaming in education: 13 November. Guest presenter Hamish Chalmers elaborates on how gaming in education has huge potential for engaging and motivating learners, as well as developing key competencies and supporting curriculum goals -with a particular focus on how Minecraft can be used to help improve student learning. This webinar is supported by a thread, LIVE WEBINAR: Gaming in education | An Enabling e-Learning event in the Enabling e-Learning | Teaching group.

    I also posted some additional apps for screen capturing in the thread, Just starting out with minecraftSmile

  • Carol Kendall (View all users posts) 04 Apr 2014 11:12pm ()

    Thanks for this great response, Tessa. I had forgotten about the wonderful Highwayman example - it's quite emotional to watch, actually. I had been away overseas last year at the time of the Gaming in Education webinar, so it has been good to look through it and the associated resources now, thanks to your alert.

  • Kelli Fay-Wolfe (View all users posts) 25 Nov 2014 10:27am ()

    My son, Sean Fay Wolfe author Minecraft Quest for Justice, was mentioned earlier in this thread. He has visited many schools and inspired kids to both write and read. His presentation is on the writing process. Via email and FB people have reached out to him to tell him about how their kids are reading his book and started writing after his talk. He mostly talks to 8-12 yr olds. He is going into his first HS next week. He has skyped classrooms in Iowa, US and Calfornia, US. There are testimonials on his website and the note he received after his last event, an evening event at an elementary school, will be posted today. Please check out his website www.sfaywolfe.com to learn more about Sean.

    His intention is to be a full time author. He loves talking to kids and inspiring them.

    So from my experience, Minecraft is a grear motivational tool for writing.

  • Kieran Billings (View all users posts) 25 Nov 2014 10:40am ()

    This term we had a sustainability focus for our school. My class took a trip into space to settle on a new planet sustainably. Our writing focus was for the children to create a pick-a-path story about this new planet. To get them enthused about the idea of writing about this I let them design their own spaceships. Most of the boys chose to use minecraft along with some of the girls, others presented it in a variety of other ways that had them more excited. I think it worked wonderfully to get them into it. This was a homework task for the children and the use of minecraft was great for letting the children collaborate on their work. So my class used it before the writing but I could see it being used as an evaluative tool as well to have them recreating pieces of their writing. I have a year 7 class with a wide range of writing abilities. 

    It was also great for the children sharing their work. They loved being able to show it to the class and talk all about it so it promoted their oral language as well.

     

  • justin hickey (View all users posts) 25 Nov 2014 8:14pm ()

    Great to hear your story and how you use mc. I have been using it for the last 2 years and have used it across so many contexts. Students have used if for explaining fractions concepts, for story webs in reading as well as writing. I have used it for my special needs students as well as my high fliers. It is an amazing resource and one that is very much misunderstood and under utilised. Well done to everybody who sees it's potential and are willing to allow it to be used in their students learning.

     

  • Kelli Fay-Wolfe (View all users posts) 25 Nov 2014 12:56pm ()

    Kieran
    .I loved your use of MC. The beauty of MC is it is an open platform so the potential is endless.
    If you let kids drive the discussion, my bet is they will come up the ideas ,we as non playing adults, could never imagine.

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