3-D Fractions

3-D Fractions

8-10 yrs old

Computer Science

Math & Economics

Students will use Code Builder to create three-dimensional fractions on a number line.

avatar Submitted By: John Miller

January 25, 2019

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  • Project Based Learning

Supporting Files

World File

World file for student use

Learning Objectives

  • Students will understand how to write multiple chat commands.
  • Students will understand how to use their agent to build columns.
  • Students will understand how to set active inventory slots.
  • Students will understand a fraction is a number on a number line. (CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.NF.A.2)
  • Students will understand two fractions as equivalent and compare fractions by reasoning about their size. (CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.NF.A.3)

Guiding Ideas

Before beginning, students should have some familiarity and basic understanding of how to create chat commands and agent movement.

Agents orientate themselves with respect to the player.

Agents can execute a variety of tasks.

Fractions can be visually represented in Minecraft by colors, textures, and behaviors in three-dimensions.


Student Activities

Students will complete three activities to demonstrate their understanding of fractions as part of a whole, fractions as a number on a number line, and be able to recognize equivalent fractions given a model. It is suggested that students work in pairs to complete all three activities.

Note that throughout this lesson, blocks representing the numerator are darker (shaded) blocks. When students build their own fractions, ask them to keep with this rule for consistency and clarity.

1. Students will use their agent to build the missing fraction in the sequence 1/6, 2/6 . . . 6/6. Students should locate the two black blocks that identify the location for 4/6, then write 2-3 chat commands to instruct the agent to build the fraction.

Use the agent commands teleport to player and turn left or right so that the agent faces one of the black blocks. Students should place several white concrete blocks in the agent’s inventory slot 1 and several red concrete blocks in the agent’s slot 2.

Create a chat command that instructs the agent to place 3 blocks vertically, switching inventory slots after placing the first block. Students should work together and experiment with their code to find a solution, but they will likely need the following agent commands:

  • agent [place on move] <true>
  • agent move [forward] by (num)
  • agent move [up] by (num)
  • agent set active slot (num – where 1 represents white and 2 red)
  • agent move [up] by (num)

The builder will create a single column, 3 blocks high, with 1 white and 2 red blocks. Students that have a more advanced grasp of agent movement can add commands to this stack that instructs the agent to build the second column from the top down.

Otherwise, have students create an additional chat command to build the second column in similar fashion to the first, from the bottom up. Note that this new command requires that they change the active inventory slot back to one.

2. The next activity builds upon the first. Instruct students that they will be using similar commands to create a number line that marks the locations of the fractions 1/7, 2/7 . . . 7/7. Have students inspect the model of vertically stacked blocks. The model represents 3/5. Students will need to be clear on the difference between numerator and denominator and reminded that they should provide visual contrast between these when placing blocks, with darker blocks (numerator) placed on the top of the fraction.

Place each fraction column in order on top of each black block on the number line. More advanced students may be able to code their agent to place multiple columns in a sequence.

3.  The final activity requires that students inspect the two columns and identify what fraction each represents. They are then to determine what the missing (equivalent) fraction is and instruct their agent to build it on top of the black block.

Performance Expectations

Students will demonstrate their understanding of agent movement by building three-dimensional representations of fractions.

Player agents will build a model that represents 4/6.

Player agents will build a number line representing the fractions 1/7 through 7/7.

Students will determine an equivalent fraction between ¼ and 3/12 and instruct their agents to build it.

Students should be able to answer the following questions:

  • How can a player agent be used to build fractions?
  • What was the most difficult fraction to construct? Why was it difficult?
  • Can you predict what fraction might come next in the sequence 1/4, 2/8, 3/12 . . . ?


  • Project Based Learning

Supporting Files

World File

World file for student use