Monday, January 30, 2017

Minecraft Construction: City Center

During their second lesson in Minecraft, students are asked to construct a city center based off of the city centers that we study when we explore Gilgamesh the Hero and ancient Mesopotamia.  Students work together to identify key elements that are needed for a city-center.  Groups used the following questions to guide their discussion and design:

Turning Your Farming Community into a City-State
After clearing land in your biome, you were able to develop the beginnings of your city-state. These farming settlements provide the food needed for your community grow. Improvements in farming techniques and methods allow for a division of labor. These new jobs and laborers are the fabric builders of your great city state. Analyzing this step in history requires you to document the efforts of these times. The question below will direct you in this endeavor.
Farming Community
            Describe the set-up of your farming community.
  • What is the name of the river that it was built on?
  • How did you change the physical features of your biome to suit your needs?
  • What are the roles of people in your community? 
  • Provide a general description of the location and dwellings.

Transition to a City Center
1. How will your farming communities be incorporated into your city center?
2. How will your city center design support the safety and development of your civilization?

Following the discussion, the Digital Maker constructs their city-center using their discussion to guide his/her building.  They are asked to focus on security and growth as they build. 

City Center Elements:
  1. barrier
  2. living quarters
  3. water source
  4. docks
  5. palace
  6. unique feature
Throughout the process, students documented their progress by taking pictures of their creations.  They also provided a written rationale to support their decisions and construction.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Minecraft Construction: Settlement and City Center

After lesson one, students were so excited to dive deeper into our module and work with Minecraft again.  During week 2 of our module, our students focused on the transition from hunters/gatherers to settlement and developing farming settlements.  As a group, students worked through an article, discussed a background story for their group, and made decisions within Minecraft that would allow them to choose a settlement point.  During individual time, the writer, manager, presenter, and liaison all worked on varying tasks associated with settlement.

Digital Maker:
Our study of ancient river valley civilizations led each group to decide to settle near a body of water.  After students found a suitable location, they began the tasks for the week.  The Digital Makers were charged with the task of documenting the raw biome.  By adding a camera and portfolio, students were able to take photos of the raw settlement land before making any changes.  The photographs and documentation will hopefully help them visualize the progression of their civilizations as we move through time. They were instructed to take aerial photos, pictures of important land formations/features, pictures of possible settlement locations, and photos of waterways.   

Minecraft Tip:

Add a Camera
  1. Press 't'
  2. Type: /give @yourname camera
 Add a Portfolio
  1. Press 't'
  2. Type: /give @yourname portfolio
 Taking Pictures
  1. Put camera in right hand from the hot bar.
  2. Aim the +
  3. Right click to take a picture
  4. Pictures are automatically deposited into your portfolio.
Accessing Pictures in the Portfolio
  1. Put portfolio in right hand from the hot bar
  2. Right click to access the portfolio
  3. Add captions
 Exporting Pictures
  1. Press the 'export portfolio' option
  2. Choose a location to save your pictures and give your folder a name
  3. Select 'save'

Next, students began creating farming communities.  With Creative Mode 'on' and other group members able to assist, Digital Makers chose locations and began building their settlements.  Settlement requirements:
  1. Canals
  2. Crops
  3. Small living quarters
  4. More than one settlement (along a river)

Stay tuned for lesson 3!