I have recently researched and used Minecraft: Education Edition (M:EE) and it is a terrific visual programming tool which could be implemented into all primary school years.
Minecraft is a PC game which takes part in a virtual land where users have 3D blocks of different materials to mine and craft, the purpose of the game is create and explore. Minecraft: Education Edition is an educational version of Minecraft, intended to be used in a classroom setting, this version comes with several preloaded worlds which align to many aspects of the Australian curriculum.
An activity I was a part of which incorporated M:EE was suggested by a Year 1 teacher and focused on the Year 1 Technologies curriculum (SCSA) in the strand “food and fibre production”:
“Plants and animals used for production have basic needs, such as food/nutrients, water, space, protection.”
The goal of the lesson is to build your own farm
With year ones this would be an extended activity that would span multiple lessons. For this activity we created a classroom and had areas which the students could explore. There were also resources which they could use to create their farm.
There are many things that could be used throughout M:EE what we suggested for our activity was leading the students through the tutorial in the classroom, showing them the mechanics needed to:
- Adding and removing blocks
- Basics of farming and irrigation
- Where to access tools and items
- How to use tools and items
- Where their plot of land is
This would be a very engaging tool and is very flexible in how you use.