Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Totally Inspired by Students Today: Minecraft for Reading Comprehension

Yesterday I was completely blown away by the students in PYP 8.  I introduced the project that I am doing for my Masters research using Minecraft to recreate the settings and retell the story of the book they have just completed as a class, and they by far over took my expectations.  Every student, even the ones that forgot their device, was thoroughly engaged in their work.  The ones who didn't have Minecraft to be building on were going through the book looking for details that the others in their group could then build.
The amount and quality of communication within the groups was excellent.  I heard one girl say to the other, "Don't make the road perfect, it was a really rough road."  All I did was explain to them what the project goal was and put them into mixed Minecraft ability groups and away they went. There was no need for anymore instruction.  They were engaged.

The book they have read is called Journey to Jo'Burg: A South African Story.  Immediately after I set them off onto Minecraft, one of the boys got on Google and searched for images of Johannesburg so that he knew what to build.  He found a picture of a distinctive tower and set out creating it.  Even if their reading comprehension does not show any statistically significant growth, the amount of other skills and contextual understanding that they are intuitively gathering is clearly beneficial.

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