As parents and teachers, we can all understand the importance of our kids learning and refining their social-emotional skills. Reason why today I’m sharing with you a fun new way for kids to learn and refine these valuable life skills — the new recently launched Mindful Knight Minecraft world and lesson plan! I was super excited to discover that the new Mindful Knight Minecraft world and lesson plan teaches kids mindfulness, social awareness, and self-regulation through a series of exciting quests within an interactive medieval world. If you’re a regular blog reader here, you already know that I’m raising a Minecraft obsessed kiddo. You’re probably raising one too! And there’s no denying the surprising benefits of playing Minecraft. Read on to get all the details!
About the Mindful Knight World
The Mindful Knight project first originated at the Microsoft Hackathon, a company-wide event where thousands of employees come together to collaborate on bringing new ideas to life. For the first time, in the spirit of inclusivity and impact, the 2019 Hackathon included a category on mental health which encouraged the Mindful Knight team to come together around a common purpose.
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Now kids can learn important life skills like mindfulness, self-awareness, self-regulation, coping skills, and social management through a popular computer game they already know and love. Kids begin play in a medieval castle. Their advisor, the Wizard tells them they will be attempting the “Knight’s Trial”. Queen Serenity then gives the player a camera and journal to document their experience along the way. The player’s quest is to complete each trial by practicing mindful behaviors and retrieve four armor relics.
Mindful Knight Gameplay
After each trial, the player is asked to use the Book & Quill to reflect on the experience. Their journals and pictures can be exported at the end of the lesson to a PDF file.
- Trial 1: The Tower of Focus. The first trial has students escape a tower by casting a levitation spell. They must maintain the spell by focusing their attention on their breathing. Completing this task earns the player the Helm of Focus.
- Trial 2: The Pond of Presence. The player is transported to the bottom of a lake. They are asked to be present in the moment and observe both their surrounding and their own senses. If their mind wanders, they are gently reminded to return to the present. Completing the task earns the player… a fish. They are soon given the opportunity to trade their catch for the Boots of Being!
- Trial 3: Emotional Plains. To reach the final trial the player must traverse the Emotional Plains. The player rides in a minecart through a mini roller coaster as a storm intensifies around them. They are asked to take pictures of each area and recognize the emotions that come to mind. After reflecting, they are awarded the Cuirass of Change by the Storm Sisters.
- Trial 4: The Dragon’s Lair. To prepare to face the dragon, the Wizard give the player the final armor piece, the Greaves of Emotional Bravery. In the final trial, the player is transported to the Dragon’s Lair. The dragon challenges the player to building content, but in the end does not play fair… The player is asked to be aware of their emotions after this event and communicate how this event makes them feel.
Stripped of their armor by the dragon, the player returns home. Surprisingly, the Wizard congratulates the player on completing their trial! Knighthood, like life comes with ups and downs. The real prize was the confidence of being mindful of your own feelings. Fireworks greet the player at the castle where Queen Serenity grants the player the title of “The Mindful Knight”!
Want to learn more? Visit the Minecraft Education website to learn how kids are developing social-emotional skills with Minecraft.