This is a two-part lesson that will familiarize students with the mechanics of Minecraft — specifically, how to collect and craft materials. The first part consists of whole class instruction, and the second part is students on the game.
In this lesson, students will make a crafting table, construct the five main tools needed to build the various structures (house, road, subway station) in other related lesson plans. Furthermore, they will calculate how much of each material they will need (Optional: using an Excel spreadsheet).
Note: This lesson serves as a good introduction to students completely new to Minecraft.
- Understand that trees are used to make wood, wood makes planks and sticks, which will be used to create tools (shovel, axe, etc.)
- Calculate the number of materials needed to create specific tools in Minecraft using addition, multiplication, and division
- Determine the number of blocks of wood needed to create materials
- Design a working spreadsheet with their own formulas that calculate the total number of wood and materials needed to make a desired set of tools
Crafting Calculator Standards Alignment
Click on the link above to view our explanations of how this lesson plan is aligned to specific Common Core Math Standards.
|Ratios & Proportional Relationships||6.RP.A.1|
|Operations & Algebraic Thinking||3.OA.A.1
|Expressions & Equations||6.EE.C.9|
- On a projector, open a Survival World in MineCraft.
- Show students how to collect wood by ‘punching’ a tree (video on the right).
- Have students write down how much wood is collected.
- Push “E” on your keyboard to pull up your inventory and point out the four-square crafting section and left-click to pick up all your blocks of wood.
- Left-click again to put down all your wood in the four-square crafting section.
- Say, “Now we will break these blocks of wood into planks.”
- Point out the planks that have appeared in the output section of the crafting area and say, “Do you see this 4? That means 1 block of wood will make 4 planks.”
- Challenge: Ask students, “If I have 12 blocks of wood and each block will be cut into 4 planks how many planks will I have?”
- Shift-click the output to bring your planks down to your inventory, under the planks icon there will be the number 4. This means you have 48 planks.
|Note that planks must be aligned vertically to create sticks.|
- Have the students write down the equations:
- 4(Wood)=Planks and Planks/4=Wood
- To craft sticks, pick up all your planks with a left-click. Next, right-click (to put down planks 1 at a time) 2 planks at any vertical point on the crafting table.
- Ask the students, “How many planks put in the input and how many stick are in the output?” Answer: 2 in the input and 4 in the output
- Now try it with 3 planks. Right-click 3 planks into the input. You will see it will still craft 4 sticks and 1 plank will be left in the input. You do this to show you that sticks can only be crafted with an even number.
- Have the students come up with the equation Sticks=2*Planks with the rule that the planks must be even
- Have students use the last two equations (Planks/4 = Wood & Sticks = 2*Planks) to find out how many sticks are created from 1 block of wood.
- Answer: If 2 planks create 4 sticks, then 4 planks will create 8 sticks and 1 wood create 4 planks then 1 wood will create 8 sticks. Thus, 8(Wood)=Sticks and S=Wood/4
- Optional: Have students input these formulas into an excel spreadsheet for future reference and quick calculation. The spreadsheet should indicate how many planks and sticks can be crafted given the amount of wood.
- Show students how to craft the five main tools: shovel, sword, pick axe, hoe, and axe. Explain to students that they will need these tools to survive and build their town in Minecraft.
- The image below shows how many planks and sticks are needed to craft each tool.
Shovel = 1 plank, 2 sticks; Sword = 2 planks, 1 stick; PickAxe = 3 planks, 2 sticks; Hoe = 2 planks, 2 sticks; Axe = 3 planks, 2 sticks
- Calculation Challenge: Have students figure out how many blocks of wood they need to create a specific number of tools. Have them input crafting recipe equations in a spreadsheet that gives three outputs:
- # of planks needed
- # of sticks needed
- # of wood needed
This is an example of student work, showing how many of each tool they want to craft, and the amount of planks, sticks, and wood needed.
If there is extra time, show students how to:
- Craft better tools with stone
- How to craft torches, chest, and furnaces.
- How to make a dig shelter.
- If not done yet, have students go on the computer and sit with their group partners with their paper spreadsheets.
- Then, have students use their spreadsheets to determine how many of each tool they want to craft and calculate the number of the materials (wood, planks, and sticks) they will need.
- Set up a Survival World in Minecraft for the students to go on and have them test the results of their spreadsheet in-game by making their tools.
- After students make their tools and check their work, challenge them to survive! Have them mine for coal, make better tools, and hunt for food.
- Teleport all students back to the spawn point and share coal and food with other.
- Turn the difficulty to hard and set the time to sunset. Challenge groups of three to go build a home to be safe during the night time.