As the year came to a conclusion in RE my Year 8 classes were looking to continue their exploration of Minecraft as a means of expressing their learning. Our final unit, ‘The Influence of Jesus’ provided an opportunity for them to be a little creative and we decided to build our unit around the Temple of Jerusalem with a focus on the events in Jesus’ life that occurred in and around the Temple.
The boys certainly gained an appreciation for the efforts back in the day to build such a mammoth structure. Recreating the temple in Minecraft took some doing and required the groups to be quite large. We did a fair bit of research into how the building developed from Solomon through to Herod the Great.
Throughout the unit we looked at the impact Jesus had on those around Him as well as the lasting impact He has had on our society in general. The boys finished with a short presentation as we ran out of time. The idea was to embed Jesus and the Temple of Jerusalem highlighting the impact He had at each of the significant events. We were hoping to narrate each step but time got the better of us.
The use of Minecraft continues to surprise me. The amount of time and effort the boys put in was amazing and the conversations that took place about how the Temple was built, where things took place etc., were interesting to listen to. Creating a virtual world really gets you to ‘live the experience’ and in turn helps build a deeper understanding of the topic.
Here is a sample of what we achieved. The boys used Instant Alpha in the Pages app on their iPads to edit the images and then overlay them on the images of the Temple.