Minecraft Geography!

I have used Minecraft in the classroom for over two years now, not because I particularly like it, I have never really played it myself. In fact, my knowledge of Minecraft isn't fantastic in any way shape or form. But this gives me a powerful tool to use in class. All I really know and need to know is that Minecraft is a game all children love playing and it allows them to build and create anything. The only restriction is the child's imagination. By reversing the roles and allowing the children to be the experts, incredible things happen! I know a lot of teachers will shy away from using Minecraft because they don't know how to play it. But allow yourself to become the student, let the children teach you and the role reversal will inspire them to take responsibility for their learning in impressive ways.

I have previously blogged about Minecraft -

Minecraft to inspire writing

Inspiring locational writing with Minecraft

Minecraft maths

Creating our own Kensuke's Kingdom islands

This week, I have used Minecraft in another curriculum area to great effect! Year 5's topic is Rivers and they have recently returned from a 3 day residential to Grasmere in the Lake District.

It is a brilliant trip and one I hope most schools provide something similar. The children do a hike and see a river before carrying out different tests. Experiencing it first hand will always be more powerful than using technology and it is important message teachers should not forget.

Learning is continued back in school all about rivers, how they are created, different parts and learning the terminology. Children first started by using the app TypeDrawing to label the parts of a river -

To evaluate the children's understanding of rivers, I challenged them to build one on Minecraft. They had to include examples of all the features we had focused on and create it in a clear way. Straight away the children were hooked, completely engaged and working hard to complete the task. Once they had finished, I asked them to take a screenshot and use the app Skitch to label the features. As an evaluation to the topic, it was a brilliant way to allow children to demonstrate what they had learned! I was so impressed with what they created! 

Now, this wouldn't be done in a computing lesson. The direct links to the national curriculum are here - 

Geography -
Ge2/1.1b    name and locate counties and cities of the United Kingdom, geographical regions and their identifying human and physical characteristics, key topographical features (including hills, mountains, coasts and rivers), and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time
Ge2/1.3a    describe and understand key aspects of physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle
Ge2/1.4c    use fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies.

I have previously linked Minecraft to Literacy, Numeracy and History. Children relish the challenge of using their knowledge of the Tudors to make a Tudor House or Roman village or Anglo-Saxon settlement. The potential is huge and to have the teacher learn alongside the children is extremely powerful!

If you are interested in how Mr P uses Camouflage Learning and other tech to raise standards in the classroom, visit this link with info on all the INSET and training he can provide - CLICK HERE 


  1. This is really great. Thank you Mr P. I look forward to doing this. Did you do this on desktop or iPad?


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