Minecraft Club for Middle Schoolers!
September 28, 2022 10:19 AM   Subscribe

Ideas for playing Minecraft when you can’t actually play Minecraft!

I’m teacher sponsor of the Minecraft Club at my middle school. Rather ironically, I don’t play Minecraft or any computer or video game but stepped up last year to support a student who couldn’t find anyone else to sponsor. It’s a great group of kids, and I really enjoy our biweekly meetings!

Last year students we were able to find ways to get around the firewalls but this year may be more limited. Having our own server may be possible but not something I want to rely on. For those of you who play, could you suggest some ways we could interact that don’t involve actually playing Minecraft? Last year our president, who has since moved up, presented some fun Kahoots and asked good discussion questions like “Do you play creative mode or survival mode, and why?” This year I wonder if we could continue that and also do even some Minecraft role plays in person or something else creative, fun & random-but-related! I know we’ll eventually have some teens take the lead but I’d appreciate some ideas to get the year started. Thank you!!
posted by smorgasbord to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You'd probably have to talk to your IT staff about it, but isn't there a Minecraft Education Edition?
posted by SPrintF at 10:36 AM on September 28, 2022 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Could the group be both a discussion and inspiration zone for their out of school play? Here are some ideas:

1) Once a month have a student build show-and-tell? Each student could screenshot a build that they had done and talk about what they did and why.

2) Come up with game challenges, such as build themes (elf village, school classroom, scariest rollercoaster, houseboat, least efficient red-stone device that opens a door, etc.). Students can submit screenshots or video of their efforts. I always enjoy lots of category competitions (most elegant, most scary, least blocks used, use of strange blocks, creative or survival) to help celebrate all the great ideas kids have.

3) Decide on a cause that is important to your students and have them build things that are related. Then take the screenshots and put them into a poster or media campaign to showcase at the school.

4) use Lego figurines or student-made characters to make some stop-motion MineCraft movies together. It takes a couple of hours to make about 30s of film, but it is a fun activity that can teach lots of skills. We have a free app that the kids use on their tablet, but I think it has been retired.

I am adult that now plays MineCraft. I wouldn't play with my students, but I CERTAINLY play with my own kids and their friends. In your shoes, I would learn to play. I would participate in their challenges and let the kids teach me. Switch roles for a bit and let them be the experts.
posted by Sauter Vaguely at 10:40 AM on September 28, 2022 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Heck, make themselves cardboard MineCraft skins and them do photoshots of themselves AS their characters!
posted by Sauter Vaguely at 10:42 AM on September 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Maybe they would enjoy the Minecraft: Builders & Biomes board game.
(It's actually pretty good!)
posted by jozxyqk at 11:52 AM on September 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There are a ton of ideas here. I really like the idea of tying in literacy and writing like this school is doing.
posted by jabes at 12:22 PM on September 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Maybe they would enjoy the Minecraft: Builders & Biomes board game.

Second this, my 6yo and 10yo who love Minecraft enjoy this game a lot.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:12 PM on September 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I think it would be cool to plan out a fortress on graph paper or a sketching app and figure out how many resources would be required.

When they do have a chance to play, they can make it happen, or learn what they didn't plan for, how it differed "in person" etc. A bit old school, but maybe you can find a way to make it work for them.

Might be cool to have them pick between biomes, like which one they would like to live in the most and why, due to resources, animals, etc. Or compare the Minecraft biomes to the real ones and decide on a plant, animal, or resource they think should be added and why.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 5:58 PM on September 28, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Could you host at a library or computer game cafe? Could kids bring laptops/phones and use a mobile hotspot to play? Could you ask IT to allow Minecraft on the library computers for educational purposes?

Without playing Minecraft there is more to do... But at the end of the day, it's all pretty dang adjacent to playing Minecraft. You could establish rules, screenshots, plot builds... But all of that could be replaced with an average discord server.

All that's really left is content creation/content consumption. Watch pew die pie play Minecraft, or edit together Minecraft videos/TikToks.
posted by bbqturtle at 2:59 AM on September 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you, you all are the BEST!! Our first meeting today went great, and I'm really looking forward to our year together.
posted by smorgasbord at 2:23 PM on September 29, 2022

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