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Design a pixel art image then break down the colors into fractions, discuss number patterns & unit fractions, then build the designs in Minecraft.

SKU: 1209 Category:


Design a pixel art image then break down the colors into fractions, discuss number patterns & unit fractions, then build the designs in Minecraft. Game/Play NGSS courses Project-Based Online  Minecraft

Learning Objectives

Common Core Standards:

  • 3.NF.A.1: Develop understanding of fractions as numbers. Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b. (Grade 3 expectations in this domain are limited to fractions with denominators 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8.)

Guiding Ideas

  • Fractions are Parts of a Whole.

Student Activities

Pixel Design Prototyping: 

To design their prototypes, have students click on the scratch link below to use this pixel art creator.


Have a quick reminder about arrays and ask the students how many tiles are in the Pixel Art Creator. (Answer: 9×12=108 )

To use, the arrow keys move the cursor around and key on the keyboard stamp in colors. B is blue, Y is yellow, R is Red, Spacebar is black. There are a lot of colors in the program and you can see the full list by looking at the code in the script. Do this by clicking on the “See inside” button on the upper right hand corner of the screen and then the “Scripts” tab just to the right of the stage.

Alternatively, students can use Microsoft Excel to create their prototype by filling in the cells with different colors.

It should take students about 15 minutes to design their pixel art

Find your Color Fractions

Students will then find out what each colors fraction is by using the number of units used over the whole pixel art. Open the attached example, Pixel Pumpkin. The pumpkin will be.

  • 1/108 is white
  • 12/108 are gray
  • 4/108 are green
  • 2/108 are red
  • 11/108 are yellow
  • 34/108 are orange
  • 44/108 are black

Next they will add their units to check if they are correct 1+2+4+11+12+34+44=108. Then check their work with a calculator.

Best practices: If they did not get the correct answer let them keep using the calculator, so they can focus more on finding their mistakes then just crunching number.

Build it in Minecraft: 

Now that they have their math and design they are ready to build their pixel art in Minecraft. To do this it is best to split the screens between Scratch and Minecraft like this so they can look at their prototype and use the cursor on to help count blocks while building in Minecraft. Then document and label.

Extra Activities

  • Take a peer’s fraction colors to make a new pixel art piece.
  • Code a new color on the Pixel Art Creator.


  • What happens when you added all the colors up, was there a pattern with any other numbers?
  • How did the fractions help explain how much of each color you needed?

Performance Expectations

Depth of Knowledge 4
The student did all of the following:

  1. The student was able to design an original piece of pixel art.
  2. The student was able to breakdown their pixel art into colors and write them as fractions.
  3. The student was able to transform a peer’s pixel art by using their same fractions of colors in a new design.
  4. The student was able to document their models with pictures in their portfolios.
  5. The student was able to explain number patterns in fractions, such as “a/a=1, or say “if I add up all the numbers it equals the whole.”
  6. The student was able to organize fractions by size using the same denominators. 3.NBT.3D

Depth of Knowledge 3
The student completed 5 out of the listed above

Depth of Knowledge 2
The student completed 3 out of the 6 listed above

Depth of Knowledge 1
The student completed 2 out of the 6 listed above


  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking
  • Project Based Learning

External References

Engage NY Module

Related Engage NY Module link.

Course Page


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