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Math Models


Students analyze math models and build their own parkour course in Minecraft to demonstrate understanding.

SKU: 1350 Category:


Students analyze math models and build their own parkour course in Minecraft to demonstrate understanding. Game/Play NGSS Minecraft courses Project-Based Online

Learning Objectives

Common Core Standards:

  • 3.OA.A.1: Represent and solve problems involving multiplication and division. Interpret products of whole numbers.

Guiding Ideas

  • Go through the pictures on the slide show and brainstorm any thoughts, observation, patterns, structures shapes, abstract meaning, and questions that come to your students minds.
  • Use students’ brainstorm comments to get them to the idea of grouping, to repeated addition, and finally multiplication. Use the statements above the photo to apply a story for the model and to introduce concepts of variables.
  • Once students have made a connection between grouping numbers and repeated addition unveil the Big Idea: Repeated Addition is Multiplication
  • Talk about how the structures could be used to build things to climb on. Be sure to have them show their work in their notebooks

Student Activities

Activity : 30 Minutes

Students will enter the Minecraft world in groups of 2. Each student will do 2 of the 4 challenges for each part.

Challenge 1:  Given the Minecraft math model as a prompt, the students will take a photo of the model and write it as an addition sentence and as a multiplication sentence on the slate.

  • BONUS give meaning to the model by using it in a sentence. For example 2×3=6 could be said as 2 boxes of kiwis with 3 kiwis each.

Challenge 2: Given an equation as a prompt, the student will build a Minecraft math model that proves the equation true or false.

  • Push the button and get the equation.
  • Build a model and determine if the question is true or false.
  • Explain the model verbally or in the math notebook.
  • Take a photo.

Challenge 3: Build a parkour course out of at least 4 sets of grouped numbers.

  • Have the students write at least 4 multiplication questions (2 each) on the slate (they do not need to answer them yet)
  • Build a parkour course with a partner using the 4 multiplication questions
  • Answer their multiplication question on the slate
  • End parkour at the button
  • The creators must beat their own game in order to finish

Play Test: 10-15 minutes

As each group finishes their parkour they will walk to the other player’s computers and play their games, conducting a peer review/play test. They will leave comments in the game creator’s math notebooks based on these questions.

  • Can I explain how the model was math?
  • How can I prove that the math correct or not?
  • What parts did I like about it?
  • What parts of this did I learn?
  • How can I help make it better?

Each student should leave at least 2 comments and play 2 games.

Debrief: 10 minutes

5 minutes: Students will write in their journals about what they learned, what patterns the saw, what they like and what could be improved.

5 minutes: Teacher will facilitate discussion on the classes thoughts.

Performance Expectations

  • Students will be able to design a parkour course made out of at least 4 math models of grouped numbers.
  • Students will be able to write equations of repeated addition and multiplications after viewing visual models.
  • Students will be able to build and explain a Minecraft math model after viewing an equation.
  • Students will be able to critique and analyze the work of others.

Use the attached grading rubric to aid in assessment for this activity.


  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking
  • Project Based Learning

External References


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