The first objective of this project is “To introduce the Minecraft video game as a tool in the area of ​​Religious Teaching of Compulsory Secondary Education “. The basic idea is for students to build a Catholic temple in Minecraft with all its characteristic elements.

To achieve this objective I have developed the following teaching unit that I share below.

Educational programming

  1. Didactic goals
    • 1. Know the meaning of the Catholic temple and its importance in the Christian religion
    • 2. Value the wealth that our country has with the abundant presence of churches and the quality of its architecture
    • 3. Interpret the meaning of the different architectural options when building a Catholic temple
    • 4. Recognize each of the parts of a church, its function and meaning, as well as how to locate it correctly
    • 5. Learn how to use Minecraft in creative mode, as well as its installation and backup
    • 6. Design and build a Catholic temple with all its characteristic elements in Minecraft
    • 7. Record a gameplay for the project’s YouTube channel explaining the construction carried out
    • 8. Evaluate the constructions of classmates, weighing creativity, ingenuity, accuracy and presentation, as well as pointing out possible improvements
  2. Key competencies
    • Learn to learn (Objectives 3, 5, 6)
    • Linguistic communication (Objectives 7, 8)
    • Digital competence (Objectives 5, 6, 7, 8)
    • Awareness and cultural expressions (Goals 1, 2, 3, 4, 8)
    • Sense of initiative and entrepreneurial spirit (Goals 5, 6, 7, 8)
    • Mathematics and basic competences in science and technology (Objectives 3, 6)
    • Social and civic (Objectives 1, 2, 8)
  3. Contents and standard criteria
    1. Content block I: The Catholic temple: meaning, history, architecture, characteristic elements
      1. Evaluation criteria
        • Recognize the structure of a Catholic temple and differentiate it from temples of other religions.
        • Differentiate between the different architectural styles most used for the construction of churches.
        • Know the meaning of the different architectural styles and their history.
        • Identify the elements that make up the interior and exterior of a Catholic temple and explain their meaning within the Christian faith.
      2. Learning standards
        • It expresses orally and in writing the meaning that the architect has wanted to give to a given construction.
        • He argues about the different variants when arranging the elements that make up a Catholic temple.
        • Know and point out the differences between a Catholic temple and others of Protestant and Orthodox denominations.
        • Shows interest in the history of the different architectural styles used in the construction of churches.
        • Know and respect the value of the religious symbols that are arranged in a Catholic temple.
        • Associate the conditions of personal experience of God with the environment that creates a Catholic temple.
      3. Timing: 2 sessions. If you visit a Catholic temple there would be 3 in total.
    2. Content Block II: Minecraft: Installation, Operation, Backup
      1. Evaluation criteria
        • Understand and run the Minecraft installation process.
        • Distinguish the file structure of the game and perform both a backup and its restoration.
        • Modify the game configuration parameters to adapt the requirements to the power of the machine used.
        • Understand the logic of the video game in creative mode.
        • Being able to learn by yourself by consulting the reference and help websites.
      2. Learning standards
        • It expresses the instructions to download and install Minecraft on the machine.
        • Know and understand the directory structure of the video game.
        • Make a backup of the selected world.
        • Restore a backup of the selected world.
        • Understand the relationship between settings and game performance on your machine.
        • Know and interpret the configuration parameters to improve the execution of the video game on the machine.
        • Orally explain the installation, copying, and restoring process in such a way that you can help other colleagues to perform them successfully.
        • He makes an effort to investigate the different possibilities of the video game and applies what he has learned to his constructions.
        • Know and respect the logic of the program.
        • Search reference websites and YouTube channels for tutorials to broaden your knowledge and apply it to your task.
      3. Timing: 3 sessions.
    3. Content block III: Construction of the Catholic temple in pairs.
      1. Evaluation criteria
        • Know and properly use the game controls.
        • Apply knowledge about the construction and arrangement of the elements of a Catholic temple in the construction of their own temple.
        • Respect the rules for placing the different elements to respect their meaning.
        • Apply creativity without distorting the meaning of construction, whether in the design of the architecture or in the use of materials and mechanisms that Minecraft offers.
        • Both students must cooperate to reach agreements and build the temple together. Joint planning, sharing of tasks, and mutual support will be valued.
        • Investigate on your own the possibilities that Minecraft offers to build.
      2. Learning standards
        • Knows, uses properly and is able to explain to another partner the controls of the game.
        • Prepare the ground for the construction of the architecture, either by selecting an extra-flat world, or by paving the way in a normal world.
        • Assess the different types of buildings and their size to suit the planned timing.
        • Calculate the measurements before starting construction.
        • Investigate the different possibilities of creating architectural elements with the tools that Minecraft provides: roofs, doors, domes, columns, altar, ambo, seat, tabernacle …
        • Use your imagination in the creative design of the temple elements.
        • Arrange the elements of the temple in their place respecting their meaning.
        • They distribute tasks among themselves to make work more efficient.
        • They take turns using the device when building.
        • Investigate the different ways to build complex elements such as columns, roofs, domes … or unique elements of the Catholic temple: altar, tabernacle, seat, ambo …
        • Get to know and use the official information channels (Minecraft wiki) and unofficial ones (YouTube video tutorials) to expand your knowledge.
      3. Timing: 2 sessions
    4. Content Block IV: Recording a gameplay: installing ScreenCast, writing the script, communicative qualities
      1. Evaluation criteria
        • Understand and run the ScreenCast installation process.
        • Prepare a script to present the work done through a gameplay.
        • Cooperate to make decisions together and allocate times for the presentation.
      2. Learning standards
        • Express instructions to download and install ScreenCast.
        • Know and use ScreenCast controls properly.
        • Prepare the common thread of the presentation and insert in it the explanations about the construction and the elements of the temple.
        • Use similar language that youtuber’s use to capture attention and make the presentation more meaningful.
        • It adjusts to the maximum time indicated for the duration of the gameplay.
        • They reach a consensus on the script and timing of the presentation.
      3. Timing: 3 sessions.
    5. Content block V: Learn from your peers: assessment and evaluation
      1. Evaluation criteria
        • Understand the need to evaluate to improve.
        • Value the work of colleagues.
        • Learn from the decisions, initiatives, and creations of colleagues.
      2. Learning standards
        1. Assesses the possibility of influencing the final grade of their classmates as a form of commitment to the general improvement of learning in class.
        2. Appreciates, respects and values ​​the work done by colleagues.
        3. Highlight the things you learn from peers’ work.
        4. It proposes ways of improvement for the evaluated works.
      3. Timing: 2 sessions
  4. Methodological guidelines
    I have prepared a Didactic Guide  where the actions and didactic suggestions are described in detail to
    address the contents of the unit. I present here the pedagogical intentions of each of the sections that make up the unit.
  5. Evaluation
    1. Continuous assessment: it is  carried out by the teacher during the development of each block, on the one hand assessing interest and effort and on the other the achievement of learning standards. This note will have a value of 25% of the total project.
    2. Punctual evaluation:  3 punctual evaluation moments have been established in which the work carried out is valued numerically.
      1. At the end of block 2, the teacher will collect the notebook to assess the notes taken in relation to the contents exposed in blocks 1 and 2. The note is individual and will have a value of 25% of the total project.
      2. The gameplay will be evaluated by the teacher according to the evaluation criteria. The note will be the same for the couple and will have a value of 40% of the total project.
      3. Students will assess the work of their classmates by viewing all the gameplays in class. This note will be the same for the couple and will have a weight of 10% with respect to the total project.

Possible improvements

This teaching unit is available to anyone who wants to use it. It can be enriched in many ways, here I propose some. I will be happy to collect possible improvements that other teachers will incorporate, sharing them here and making them available to everyone:

  • Detail necessary prior knowledge
  • Explain possible difficulties that students and teachers may encounter
  • Pay attention to diversity
  • Explain the cooperative techniques that will be used in the blocks in which this methodology is used
  • Provides a list of resources to expand knowledge of Minecraft to students and teachers
  • A technical guide for schools that explains how to install and maintain Minecraft in classrooms
  • Describe the methodology used in the evaluation that students make of their peers
  • Prepare an evaluation template / form for students and teachers to record the good and improvable things of the project
  • Adapt the project so that it can be taught in English
  • A list of the necessary teaching resources
  • Videos showing the development of the different blocks in a real classroom

Hopefully this is just the beginning and with the collaboration of more teachers we can mature this project even more.