Lesson Plans in Minecraft:

  1. Show the YouTube video above to students and ask them to calculate the surface area and volume of the TNT tower. What would happen if the tower was 1 block taller? Two blocks taller? Twice the height? Is there a general rule for calculating the surface area? (SA = 4 x height + 1)
  2. Students build their name in Minecraft blocks and calculate the surface area and volume of the blocks in their name. (This may take 1-2 lessons, depending on how familiar students are with the Minecraft environment).
  3. Students build a pool or dig a pit in Minecraft and calculate the perimeter. If you double the size of the pool/pit, what happens to the perimeter? Create a table of values showing what happens to the perimeter each time the area is multiplied by 2, 3 or 4.
  4. "Increasing the volume with three little pigs" is a lesson I have described on the Technomaths blog. Students can build the pig's houses in Minecraft or with building blocks, or simply sketch them in their books.
"Let me tell you a story about three little pigs. The first pig built a house that was 2 metres high by 3 metres wide by 4 metres long. The second little pig wanted a bigger house, so he doubled the dimensions – his house was 4 metres high, by 6 metres wide by 8 metres long. The third little pig wanted to have the biggest house, so he doubled the dimensions again and built a house that was 8 metres high, 12 metres wide and 16 metres long.
Your task is to calculate the surface area and volume of each of the three houses and work out the ratio of SA:V for each house. Assuming that all the houses were made of the same materials and labour was not included, which house would be the cheapest to build per unit volume?"

Some more Minecraft Resources: