Using Minecraft to teach middle school history has become a popular choice for teachers who wish to engage students in problem solving.
“If it’s going to meet a kid where they are at as a student, I’m going to use it,” said social studies teacher Adam Hines. At Central Springs Middle School, his students are using the Minecraft school version to build virtual colonies and apply what they are learning about early American history.
The class wrote a backstory for a teenager living in colonial America, either native or immigrant. They designed a 2-D template map of the settlement to determine where buildings, roads, and landmarks would be. Each group wrote a constitution for the governance of the colony, to establish policies about slaves and Native Americans.
Minecraft has a large player base and is popular with teachers for its flexible approach to building virtual worlds. Over 21 million people have purchased Minecraft, and the school version is used worldwide by over 5500 teachers.