Lest We Forget: WW1 Remembrance Lessons in Minecraft: Education Edition

When I first quit my career in ICT, I re-trained as a secondary school teacher and primarily taught History (with some English Literature and Religious Education on the side). We covered many historical topics including one unit called “The Origins of WW2”, in which students were amazed to find that the seeds of that conflict were sown at the conclusion of WW1 and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. I’ve also blogged about ANZAC memorial observances here and here.

This weekend I noted that the Minecraft: Education Edition team have been busy and released a series of lessons to assist educators and students examine key elements of WW1, the so-called “war to end all wars”.

Four of the five lessons released covering WW1

The five lessons included in this series are:

  • Lesson 1: Explore how WWI was different from the conflicts that came before it, and discover what led to it starting.
  • Lesson 2: Find out how Morse Code was used as a vital form of communication, and create and send a telegraph using the code.
  • Lesson 3: Explore how flight changed the face of warfare, and build your own plane.
  • Lesson 4: Learn about the difficulties and dangers of Trench Warfare, the horrific conditions soldiers had to life and fight in, on both sides.
  • Lesson 5: Reflect on the lessons learned from the war, focusing on the importance of remembrance

My Thoughts

This is a brilliant, accessible resource for educators to teach major themes to students through a high interest topic and the engaging platform of Minecraft: Education Edition. In fact, the incredible Auckland War Memorial Museum (my personal favourite musuem in New Zealand) previously released a Minecraft world around the legendary Gallipoli Campaign that forged the ANZAC brotherhood between Australia and New Zealand armed services:

You can access the Gallipoli learning activities here (please note: as these were released in 2015 it was prior to the launch of Minecraft: Education Edition and so will not play in that version of the app).

Through studying these world-changing conflicts, students learn not to glorify the violence, but instead understand the contributing factors that led to the escalation of tensions and ultimately, the outbreak of war. Furthermore, they gain a greater appreciation for the horrific experiences the soldiers found themselves in and the long-term impact this had on their lives.

Lest we forget.

Need Help Getting Started?

If you’re after some help getting started with Minecraft: Education Edition then check out my ultimate setup guide here.

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