Minecraft Programming and Year 3

A Raspberry Pi workshop with year 3

Some people said I was crazy to do it, others said they were too young and others still said that it would be too hard!

On Tuesday I ran two lots of one and a half hour Raspberry Pi Minecraft workshops with year 3 students at a local school.

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The students had just started a healthy eating topic based around the food that Tim Peake would use on the International Space Station. This gave me a good hook to introduce the Pi and more specifically the AstroPi.

The year 3 teachers wanted to me to do something fun with Minecraft and include a element of text based programming.

The lesson resource I used is
here (worksheet 7) and simply gave students an opportunity to post a message to the Chat Window and then change the code to change the message.

The lesson followed my general formula for Minecraft workshops and I was really pleased with the effort and determination by the students.

  • Welcome and Introduction
  • Familiarisation of Minecraft Raspberry Pi edition controls
  • 15 minutes to either build a rocket or a Moon base for Tim Peake’s next space journey
  • Introduction to code activity
  • Students type the code into a blank text file
  • Teacher runs code from the terminal
  • Whilst students are waiting for help they can return to their original designs, reducing any waiting time

Observations

  • Students were very keen to type in text and use their partners to check each line
  • Generally students will forget the capital letter M in mc = minecraft.Minecraft.create() but with the attention to details and checking less students made this mistake than I would have expected.
  • Many of the students in the class couldn’t find the key combination to type a “ or (
  • Students showed resilience and were very excited when their first chat message appeared on the screen.


Would I do year 3 again for my workshop - absolutely!


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