Minecraft Club – From Treehouses to Statues of Nonexistent Heroes

Mapped-out Minecraft world overhead

During the 2018-19 school year, The Town School’s Lower School Science teacher and I ran a Minecraft Club for 1st-4th graders. The Club met before school once a week for just 30 minutes, with each grade attending in 5-7-week blocks. Because of this schedule, we had to come up with projects that participants could work on in small groups and in short, spaced-out bursts. No experience with Minecraft: Education Edition was required to join the club, and the variety of expertise turned out to be a real boon, as students learned an impressive amount from one another in a short amount of time.

4th-grade members of the Minecraft Club were challenged to create a series of treehouses (or structures whose foundations were trees)–one that was a library, one that was for players to have snacks, and one designated a play/chill area. We also had a group for constructing outdoor features (e.g. entrances, exits, and connecting walkways) and another responsible for showing school pride.

3rd graders were challenged to create a statue for a hero who never existed. Small groups started with their ideas–both textual and design-related–on paper for the first couple of sessions and then began building (and writing signs and books) in Minecraft.

2nd-grade members of the club were tasked with building farms:

1st-graders, most of which were new to Minecraft, built giant versions of their initials, connecting them to the initials of other members of their small group:

“The Great Mural of Our People” – a MinecraftEdu + Makey-Makey design

Drawing of Stonehenge builders rolling stones

Created for:

Project length:

  • Short (one week, design document).


  • Matt McGowan (solo project/assignment).


  • Integrate tangible computing into another assignment done during the semester.

I elected to add a tangible element to the design I did for the course’s “Empowering narrative-making in others” assignment earlier in the term–a MinecraftEdu-based project entitled “The Great Mural of Our People” (the text of which is here, for comparison’s sake). Here’s the result of adding Makey-Makey to the mix–wherein students design simple, interactive machines that simulate laborers operating the same machine together: