Narrative Chunks

How we're using MinecraftEDU to build narratives of tomorrow

What we are doing

In 5 Blue we have been using MinecraftEDU to build a new type of narrative. Our narratives are set to change the way everyone reads and experiences stories. We are building what we call Narrative Chunks. Narrative chunks allow you to experience a narrative as a chunked text, a printed text, an audio book and a game where you take control of whatever character you choose.

Going SOLO to change the narrative scene.

We are using SOLO Taxonomy as a framework to assist us to challenge the way we approach our learning. SOLO stands for Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes. Mr Hull has added some notes below about what SOLO does for his teaching and our learning.

  • Provides a powerful mental model for students.
  • Changes the way students think about learning outcomes.
  • Effort over luck/ability (accessible to all students).
  • Students monitor their own progress and make the next step in their learning.
  • Raises confidence and engagement.

Assists students to answer 3 key questions about their approach to learning.

What am I learning? / How am I going? / What do I do next?

Click here to find out more about SOLO Taxonomy

A bit of reflection is always positive

For each stage of our chunking (see stages below) we complete what we can SOLO Reflections. the SOLO reflection are done solo at first and then we compare our reflections with each other. Here we look for 'feedback' from our peers and we look to 'feedforward' to improve each others work. This is sometimes hard because no one likes to be told their ideas might not be as awesome as they first thought, you can feel very exposed. But without this reflection stage, how can we expect to improve?


We used Popboardz to help us collate everything we have made. Eventually this will help us with our final design pitch. We will share these so everyone can experience our pitch. This app helps us bring all of our paper based work into digital from. We also used this app to write feedback for each other that we can use for reflection later on.

Examples of SOLO in action

Creating characters through SOLO

Character Profiles

From our SOLO Describe++ Maps we are able to create quality profiles. Here we use the data we have already written down and sequence it together so it is easy for others to see clearly the purpose of our characters in our story.

Something to hold always helps

Once our character profiles, describe maps and conclusions were complete we made 3D models so we could actually see what our models actually will look like in a 3D model as opposed to a drawing. We printed off a Minecraft skin net and started creating.

SOLO sequencing

SOLO Settings


5 Levels of Chunking

We have come up with 5 levels of chunking. Each level represents a chunk of knowledge, a chunk of expertise that when put together with the other 4 levels gives you the perfect recipe to create a narrative that you can't stop reading/ experiencing.

Level One

We named Level 1 the play level because that is exactly what we did. We downloaded MinecraftEDU made sure that it worked on our laptops. We then all played together when Mr Hull gave us time. We used level One to ask any questions we had and fix any problems. It also helped us help each other if we needed it like ways to build, how to make things and how to work together.

Level Two

In Level 2, we negotiated with Mr Hull and each other what our project would look like. We were challenged each other to create a design pitch with a 4 stage narrative for a brand new game. In this stage we used SOLO Maps to help us create character profiles for our protagonists and antagonists as well as our settings. We also used a SOLO Sequence map to create a draft sequence map of the events in our narratives and create investment in our design pitches.

Level Three

Level 3 is the build stage because here we use feedback from level 2 from Mr Hull and our peers to begin to build our narratives in MinecraftEDU. We used a mod we found that allows us to create dialog and characters and intertwined our building into our design pitch documents. We looked at dialog in our favourite narratives and evaluated how points of view position us as an audience.

Level Four

Level 4 is hard. Here we have to reflect on how we are going and no one else can do this for us. We helped each other find faults or what we call deadpoints in our narratives that we need to fix. We talked about deadpoints in our favourite games and narratives and how they make us confused as audiences or actually hate the story being told. We've also made models of our character to see if how we have built them works with our overall vision We use any reflection we make to talk to Mr Hull about what we do next.

Level Five

Level 5 is where we are at the moment. From all of the feedback we have received we need to make the choice of fight or flight. If an element of our design pitch isn't working, we either fight for it and build it to work in our narrative or we leave it out of our design pitch and take flight, building new components that we think may work better.

Where does MinecraftEDU fit in?

A game!? How can playing a game constitute as learning? That was the question our parents asked. Some of us even asked this question of Mr Hull. But if you ask anyone in our class, we will all say this is the hardest we have ever worked at school. EVER.

MinecraftEDU is a modification of the normal Minecraft and honestly, we love this mod just as much as we love the real version. Click here to find out more about this modification. Mr Hull says the best part is that it is all controlled by the teacher so if there is any problems, you can fix it and get on with building.

Even better, our parents want us playing minecraft now, they even play with us!

MinecraftEDU in Full Throttle

Below we have added some pictures of our Minecraft world. We use this world as a reflection world. We try new ideas, ask for building help from others and assist where we can. We also use this world for fun. (There's nothing wrong with that). Sometimes we just go and build. We also pay for an out of school server so we can play at home. We share the load. $4 a month is easy when you see all the learning that is happening!

A modification or two never hurt anyone

We use MinecraftEDU, but for our projects we have added some modifications to our minecraft clients. We use a modification called CUSTOM NPC. Custom NPC allows us to create our own characters and add dialog to them. We love this modification because it has opened up avenues for us to create characters that are in our narratives and allow our audiences to interact with characters for real. We have also been able to have some very heated discussions about what our character should say and how they should react to our actions.

Below is a very, very helpful youtube clip that explains how to use the mod.

SCMowns - Custom NPCs 1.5.1 Minecraft Full Review and Tutorial (Client and Server) 400th Video!