Coffeechug Minecraft World: PBL and PD

Seeking Feedback and Ideas

Below is my current draft of a project I am working on. The goal of this world is twofold. First, to help students and classrooms connect in a place that excites and promotes learning in an interdisciplinary project. Second, the world will eventually be a teacher PD world for them to learn how to use Minecraft in their classrooms. Check out the idea and let me know what you think. I have two other projects, but need to figure this one out first.


The goal of this project is to design and create a blueprint copy of your school you attend. The school must be to scale. After the school is built you will then design and build your ultimate dream school that would ensure the highest levels of learning.



Design, plan, and build an accurate and to scale model of your school

Use Minecraft to support 21st century skills

Enhance writing skills through visualization and roleplay

Connect the various subject areas to showcase student learning


Organizing the Project


Step 1: Information Gathering

In this stage students will figure out how to get blueprints or a scaled map of their school. They will need to figure out how to use volume to determine the space needed in Minecraft to build their school to scale(this will help)


Step 2: Building in Minecraft

Once a map and plan has been established, students will develop teams with the help of their teacher to divide up the work. Students will go through the tutorial world to learn how things work before being deployed to the School World. Once their plot is established they will begin to build and create their school to scale.


Step 3: Writing

Along the way students will be blogging or writing their learning journey to creating their school to scale. Each post will require the use of connecting the standards to the learning. It is important for students to understand their learning and how it all ties together. These posts can also include screenshots and video tours.



The next step if time permits or for those who need more of a challenge would be to take on the challenge of creating a dream school. They will have to justify their decisions and why their creation would allow for the ultimate learning experience for all students.


Next Steps

Once students have created their school to scale, the world will be used for PD for teachers. A great entry point would be for teachers to design their own classrooms. Even better would be teachers designing their ultimate dream school and comparing to the students version. This project will be open to all students and schools so in the end we will have this world of real schools and ultimate dream schools which would lead to some great conversations. Last, it would provide a great opportunity for a virtual world tour.


Iowa Common Core Standards




Represent three–dimensional figures using nets made up of rectangles and triangles, and use the nets to find the surface area of these figures. Apply these techniques in the context of solving real–world and mathematical problems.


21st Century Skills


Essential Concept and/or Skill: Collaborate with peers, experts, and others using interactive technology.


Essential Concept and/or Skill: Plan strategies utilizing digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.


Essential Concept and/or Skill: Use critical thinking skills to conduct research, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate technological tools and resources.




Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade–specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)



With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grade 6.)



Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting.


Getting Started

Students will enter the large massive BMS Training Facility. This building is a square building built to scale based on the square meters of the building and applied to the Minecraft world. Inside the facility will be several rooms providing ideas and help for students and educators to achieve the necessary learning opportunities.



Once we have a replica of our actual school, then the design challenge comes into place. The challenge is as follows:


Create a world in Minecraft that reflects the values and mission of Bettendorf Community Schools.


Bettendorf Community School District will link learning to life with passion, purpose and pride so that all students can make a positive difference.

Educational excellence is the foundation of the Bettendorf Community School District. Working in partnership with the family and community, we will instill and nurture in all students the knowledge, skills, creativity, and confidence to pursue their dreams and to succeed in a global society.
We Believe:

  • Excellence in student learning, our measure of accountability, is the hallmark of our school district.
  • High expectations for students, staff, parents, and community lead to excellence.
  • Although not all students learn at the same time or in the same manner, all students can and shall learn.
  • Family and community support are critical to student success.
  • To best meet the needs of our students, staff should be motivators, innovators and professional role models.
  • Student learning occurs best in a safe, nurturing, respectful, and positive environment, which is supported by quality facilities and resources.
  • Basic academic skills are the foundation for successful lifelong learning.
  • Rigorous and relevant learning experiences challenge our students to think and solve problems creatively.
  • A quality school district embraces diversity and promotes mutual respect.
  • A quality school district seeks continuous improvement.
  • A quality school district is responsive and accountable.
  • Visionary leadership to achieve the goals of our school district is a responsibility shared by staff, students, parents, and community.

At this point we can divide students up to plot and design their dream school and learning centers. Whatever they create they must connect to the values and missions of the district. Before they jump into Minecraft they must unpack the statements and begin to visually map what elements they would like to add to their world.


Once the class unpacks and mindmaps what is needed to address these statements they begin to draft out their ideas. They will map out their ideas on paper. Individually or in small groups they will present their ideas. Once that has been complete, then students will work together as a class to create a prototype in class of what the finished product will look like. They will have to figure out locations of builds and how to incorporate all the ideas into one cohesive world.


Once this model has been created and approved they will be set loose to create in Minecraft. There will be groups created, roles for different tracks within the challenge, and regular meetings to ensure we are making the necessary progress. As we need to things to be taught or constructed we will add them to the BMS Training Facility.


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