Roblox may be known as a computer game that youth spend hours playing, but it also has relevance for education.
Roblox can be used in teaching to engage students in the lesson and to help them build specific skills, while also enjoying the experience. The multiplayer aspects of Roblox allows for learning activities centered on collaboration and communication.
For more information on Roblox, check out What is Roblox and How Can It Be Used to Teach? Tips & Tricks.
What follows is a sample lesson plan focused on using Roblox to teach elementary students in social studies.
Subject/Topic: Social Studies/Community and Neighborhood Resources
Grade Band: Elementary School
Learning Objective: At the end of the lesson, students will be able to build a community that includes targeted neighborhood resources and services.
Roblox Lesson Starter
Using a presentation tool such as Slido, provide students with background information regarding neighborhood resources in their community. Leverage the interactive live questioning and polling features of Slido to allow students the opportunity to actively participate in the lesson.
For example, you can use the open-ended question feature on Slido to ask students what community resources are present in their neighborhood and/or the school’s neighborhood. Students will name community resources such as the grocery store, library, and post office. For younger elementary students, you can use the multiple choice option and pre-list a few community resources.
Then ask students about other community resources they would like to add to their neighborhood.
Roblox Community Creation
Provide an open platform through Roblox for students to create neighborhoods that include the resources that they would like to see. You have many platform options to choose from as Roblox is available through the Google Play Store, Amazon Appstore, and Apple App Store, as well as by using Playstation, Xbox, or MetaQuest devices. Microsoft’s website also has an option to join Roblox.
Allow students to take creative license to build their virtual communities. If you would like students to work on soft skills such as collaboration and communication, have them work in teams. Working in teams will also allow for problem-solving and critical thinking to be part of the learning activity as they will need to negotiate with one another on which community resources they should include and why.
Virtual Gallery Walk & Class Discussion
Instead of having a traditional presentation of each students’ work, coordinate a virtual gallery walk in which each student or team can explore their peers’ neighborhoods. To assist with the exploration, you could have students complete a form in which they notate similarities and differences between their own created neighborhoods and those of the other students or teams.
To engage students in design thinking, you could have a whole class discussion about the virtual gallery walk experience in which you ask students and teams if there is anything they would do differently to their designed neighborhood after seeing other examples. This can be a reflected piece, or you can have students continue with the building of their neighborhood within Roblox.
What Support Does Roblox Provide Families?
The Roblox website has a Student & Families section that provides myriad resources for parents of students who use Roblox, including guides for families to navigate Roblox, the ability to customize parental controls, and information on The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
What if Students Use Inappropriate Language?
We know that sometimes language usage changes when students are in online social forums versus in the physical classroom. Within the chat features in Roblox, there are built-in structures to filter out language that is inappropriate. Also, there is an option to report abuse within the Roblox platform.
So yes, Roblox can absolutely be used within formal education settings for informal learning experiences. In addition to trying to implement the lesson plan described above, check out our article on Creating a Roblox Classroom for other learning activity ideas that incorporate Roblox.