Reimagining an Ancient Chinese City

One of the first large-scale projects I attempted with my students was to recreate the Tang Dynasty capital city of Chang’an. The lesson turned out wonderfully and it is now a staple of my unit on Medieval China. Today, it becomes the first of my maps to make its way to the…

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Teacher of the Year Gala

I took a couple of days off this week to to attend the gathering of fellow State Teacher of the Year honorees in Sacramento. I was humbled to be considered as a finalist along with such a truly remarkable group of educators. I thoroughly enjoyed the day that included a morning…

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Momotarō – The Peach Boy

After nearly 3 months and hundreds of student-hours, our collaborative project with Melvina Kurashige’s students in Hawaii is finished and ready to share. Melvina and I have worked together the past several years designing lessons that our students can complete across the Pacific with Minecraft. I teach medieval Japanese history…

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Mannequin Challenge – Minecraft Style

My students and I had a little fun at the end of this year’s Tang Dynasty build. To show off our work, we participated in the mannequin challenge – pretending to be mannequins throughout the city. All four of my periods participated by recreating medieval Chinese city life as I flew through…

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Progress Report: Momotarō, the Peach Boy

The first big new project this year is upon my class. Momotarō, or Peach Boy is a Japanese folktale from the late Middle Ages, or Edo period in Japan.  As part of our unit on Japan, we will be recreating this story using Minecraft. I am fortunate enough to have a dedicated…

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Minecon 2016

I had the distinct pleasure of sitting on a panel with three other wonderfully talented people at Minecon. Our session was titled The Building Blocks of Literacy. Enjoy!

Encounters in the New World

[MinecraftEDU World Download] After completing units of study on the Renaissance and the Enlightenment periods, with particular emphasis on mercantilism and exploration, students worked together in groups to form trading companies, purchased supplies to outfit an expedition to the new world, and founded a colony that met six criteria. Minecraft…

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New Book: Unofficial Minecraft Lab for Kids

I’m very happy to announce the publication of my new book, the Unofficial Minecraft Lab for Kids. A representative from Quarto Publishing Group contacted Chris Scott and I about a year ago and suggested we submit a proposal for a book. They specialize in hands-on, DIY kinds of books and Chris and…

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Recreating Medieval Birmingham in Minecraft

After exploring numerous online resources, 14th century Birmingham, England and its residents were faithfully reproduced using Minecraft by my students. They spent ten class periods living and working in the village while being witness to the arrival of the plague. [MinecraftEDU World Download] Over the past Christmas holiday while doing research for the…

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