A Minecraft Inquiry

If you work in a primary school chances are you have heard your students discussing Minecraft. Currently over 21 million people have purchased Minecraft. There are a staggering 7 billion views of Minecraft related activities on YouTube. Clearly it is very popular. My question is ‘Can Minecraft enhance student learning in my classroom?’.

Image from Flickr by Thomas Wagner


I have researched how many teachers have integrated Minecraftedu successfully into the learning engagements. I have read and learnt from previous coetailers’ blogs about integrating Minecraft into a primary classroom, in particular @wayfaringpath @mikehoffman and @biggles. I am hoping to learn from their experiences and to build a valuable resource for teachers like myself. My aim is to create a blog that is aimed at primary teachers interested in integrating Minecraft into their classrooms.

The first draft of my Minecraft blog.


I am particularly keen to see how Minecraft can integrate into an inquiry classroom. I will be focusing on how the PYP transdisciplinary themes can be used in Minecraft, as well as looking into possible conceptual links with the PYP key concepts. I am also hoping to see any potential ways to teach language, mathematics, social studies or science learning outcomes.

Image used with the author’s permission.


My research will also include reading Colin Gallagher‘s new book ‘An Educator’s Guide to Using Minecraft in the Classroom’.

It is my aim to provide a simple guide for primary inquiry teachers to integrate Minecraft into their units.





A Unit of Inquiry: Design a School

I have designed a unit of work that will help to introduce MinecraftEdu to students. The project is deliberately open to enable students to follow their own ideas. Students will be working collaboratively on designing and building a new school. They will have to justify features of our new school design and then follow a plan to all build it together. We will also be focusing on cooperation skills so that it is a collaborative learning experience. The detailed plans are below:

My Concerns

My main concern is that, although using Minecraft will be fun, it may not be academically rigorous. I am also worried that it will be a distraction for students. In regards to my blog my concern is that I am repeating what other teachers have already tried to do. I am also unsure of how using Minecraft can be linked to our curriculum as I will be learning as I inquire. I am also concerned about the technical side of using Minecraftedu as this is the first time it has been used in my school.

New Pedagogy

This will be a new experience for me. I have not yet used Minecraft or seen it in action in the classroom. As a homeroom teacher I will be rethinking how I can teach all areas of my curriculum to find authentic links through Minecraft.

Image from Flickr by Steven Saus

Let the inquiry begin!

7 thoughts on “A Minecraft Inquiry

  1. Kate Hall

    I am so excited to follow your journey into using Minecraft in your classroom! I used it once when my students wanted to create Maycomb county from “To Kill a Mockingbird” in Minecraft instead of on paper. I learned a few things that may be helpful. The first day they were creating their new world, a student in another classroom kept getting into their world and blowing everything up! I ended up going to find that student and telling them to stop. I would check on how to change the settings on their world so no one else can enter. The second thing was they figured out how to make a video of walking through the world they created. I think they used screencast-o-matic. It is a very easy free program to use and it can record their voice while they walk through their world. I will keep checking in- there is so much to learn about using Minecraft and I look forward to learning from you!

    1. Amanda McCloskey Post author

      Hi Kate,
      Thanks for the tip! So did each student have an individual world or did your class all share the same world? Screencast-o-matic sounds like a perfect way for me to demonstrate my progress too! Thanks for your enthusiasm,

      1. Kate Hall

        Hi! The students paired up and created and worked in their own world. This seemed to work very well. I love Screencast-o-matic and use it quite often!

  2. Bradley Evans

    Hi Amanda,

    I like your approach. As far as I know Minecraft as the primary medium for an inquiry based classroom is a new idea and I’m excited to see where you go with it. It sounds like you already have a few resources in mind to help guide you during the implementation of this idea. What I’ve found is that the students are going to be your greatest teachers at times and that it is ok to rely on them. Creating a “Need to Know” or Questions wall where you could brainstorm the inquiries and coupling that with an answer wall for students to reference might be a great way for students to communicate their struggles and successes. Great idea on taking Minecraft even further!


    1. Amanda McCloskey Post author

      Hi Brad,
      Thanks for the excellent tip- I will set up a couple of display boards in the ICT lab for students (and myself) to share struggles and successes. A brilliant idea! I’m currently feeling a little bit apprehensive but I agree with you- my students will be my support network!
      Thanks for the advice!

  3. Tara Barth

    I’m looking forward to your project! My kids, especially the boys, are OBSESSED with Minecraft and I’ve been looking for a way to connect it to our curriculum. As for your concerns, I think you can bring so many things kids love, including games, into the educational realm. It won’t be a distraction if you set a purpose and clear expectations for using the game. Also, I don’t think there are a ton of resources yet for connecting Minecraft to a primary inquiry curriculum. I remember searching a bit and still struggling to find good ideas. So this will be very relevant to me!

    1. Amanda McCloskey Post author

      Hi Tara,
      Thanks for your comment. We start next week so I’ll be glad to get things moving and find out just how useful Minecraft can be in an inquiry curriculum.
      Kind regards

Comments are closed.