Minecraft Math: Star Ways Day Pixel Art

Star Wars Day is here again and it’s a terrific time to integrate Star Wars activities into your STEM and other technology lessons. Many teachers think of science experiments when it comes to STEM, however, STEM is not just about science. It includes the integration of math and technology as well.

Today's post is about a pixel art STEM activity that integrates students’ love for Minecraft with their love for Star Wars. It can be a challenging activity and can take anywhere from several hours to several days to complete. There is a potential for students to get frustrated with this activity, so I recommend this activity for students in the middle elementary grades and above.

Children can build this R2D2 pixel art in Minecraft by following a pattern on a graph. Creative mode. Minecraft math, STEM, technology activity.
This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote when Minecraft was still in 1.9.  Disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this post.



About Pixel Art

When students create pixel art in Minecraft, they are practicing a wide variety of skills. These skills include:
  • color recognition
  • counting
  • patterning
  • geometry
  • graphing and grids
  • problem-solving
  • following directions
  • fine motor skills
  • visual-spatial awareness
  • eye-hand coordination
  • using technology
  • maintaining focus and concentration
  • critical thinking skills

Materials Needed


R2D2 Pixel Art Pattern

This is a widely popular R2D2 design that has been passed around online for years. If you happen to know who the original creator is, please let me know so I can give them proper credit.

Directions

1. Print one grid per student. (Obviously, it needs to be printed in color.) These can be printed on card stock and laminated, so students can mark their progress and jot notes as they go and to be used year after year.

2. Once the students are logged into Minecraft, they need to find a large, clear spot to build. Creative mode works the best for this activity.

3. The students need to begin at the bottom of the grid and count out the number of cubes and the colors they need. For example, the bottom row in this pattern needs five black blocks, then two white blocks, then seven black blocks, then two white blocks, and finally five black blocks. Suggestion: use the different colors of wool to build the structures.

4. The students place those blocks on the ground, one next to the other.

5. After completing the bottom row, then the students work their way upwards, counting and placing the number of blocks they need.

Completed R2D2 Pixel Art Sculpture
My R2D2 pixel art sculpture... What do you think?

If you want to challenge your students, have them draw their own images on grid paper and then build them in the game. Remember to provide ample time for them to complete this activity. It took me about a half-hour to build my R2D2 pixel art sculpture, so prepare for it to take longer with your students. 

Star Wars Children's Books

Reading children's books before a lesson or activity is a terrific way to get your students excited and ready to get started. It is also a terrific way to wind down a lesson and put closure to it. In 2015 I compiled a list of ten Star Wars children's books. Which of these books would you integrate into this pixel art activity?

Collage of Star Wars children's book covers

Did you enjoy reading about this Minecraft activity? If so, check out these blog posts for more ideas to integrate Minecraft into your lessons:


search words: Minecraft, Minecraft math, Minecraft learning, Minecraft education, Minecraft pixel art

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