Full Length Lesson Plans from an Elementary School Teacher
Math Lesson Plan: Fraction Fruit
- Learn fraction concepts
- tasting fruit students have never tried before, easier when your friends are trying them too (get signed permission from parents about students eating fruit, regarding allergies, etc.)
- review of Canada’s Food Guide
- fraction addition
- fraction subtraction
- GOOD TO DO THIS LESSON IN MAY, END OF YEAR, THEN PLANT THE CANTALOUPE SEEDS FOR MOTHER’S DAY OR JUNE GARDENS. (you can use plant to measure height with ruler)
- review ordinal numbers (fourth, eighth) and show students how fractions use the same idea (one – fourth, 1/4th, one – eighth, 1/8th)
- WASHED 2 apples (one green and one red), 2 oranges, kiwi, banana, cantaloupe (for parts of a whole), 15 grapes, 10 cherries (for parts of a set)or whatever fruit you have that you can cut into pieces easily (MAKE SURE THE NUMBER OF GRAPES AND CHERRIES IS DIFFERENT)
- cutting board
- all students need math journals, pencil, eraser
- chart paper and marker for teacher to use in the learning circle
- Have all students wash their hands with soap and water and come to the learning circle. We sat in a circle on the floor, with the fruit on the chart paper. Remind students about Canada’s Food Guide. What group are these foods from? (Vegetables and Fruit) What are the other three groups? (Meats and Alternatives, Milk and Alternatives, Grain Products). Today we’re going to EAT FRACTIONS. Everyone can have a taste of some of these fruits during the lesson.
- Teacher shows them all of the WHOLE fruits, tells them we’re going to cut them up into pieces to learn about fractions. Teacher asks students what is a fraction? (check prior knowledge)
- Tell students that a fraction can be part of a whole, like part of the apple or part of the orange (or part of a chocolate bar). A fraction can also be part of a set, like part of the bunch of grapes, or part of the group of cherries (or like one bead from a necklace). Print on the chart paper: “Fractions: part of a whole (like an apple or chocolate bar) or part of a set (like one grape from a bunch or one bead from a necklace). Draw an apple=1 ” Tell students this red apple is one WHOLE red apple.
- Cut the red apple in half. Ask students, how many pieces there are now? 2 Tell them there are two halves. Write and say two halves equal one whole ” 2/2 = 1″ Tell them both pieces equal one whole apple. If I eat one piece of apple (cover it up with a corner of the chart paper), what fraction do we have left? 1/2 Write “1/2″ . Tell them you have one of two pieces, pointing to the parts of the fraction 1/2 that you have just written. Tell them that the bottom number (denominator) tells the number of pieces that the apple has been cut into and the top number (or numerator) of the fraction, tells them the number of pieces you’re talking about.
- Bring the other half of the apple back. Show them that now you have 2 pieces again. Each piece is 1/2. Two halves equal one whole. Write 1/2 + 1/2 = 2/2 or 1 whole. Remind them that 2 pieces equal one whole apple because we have cut the apple into only 2 pieces. So the fraction now is 2/2 or 1 whole.
- Cut both halves of apple again, so that you have 4 pieces. Ask them how many pieces? 4 What’s the bottom number of the fraction, or denominator, going to be now? /4 Write it down. Each piece of the apple is what fraction? 1/4 write it down. Write 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 = 4/4 or 1 whole
- If I ate one of these pieces (cover up 1/4 of the apple with the paper again), what fraction of the apple do I have left? Count with them to check, ….1/4,…. 2/4,….. right 3/4′s !!! Write it down 4/4 - 1/4 = 3/4
- Bring back the other piece of apple. Now we have a whole apple again. We have 4 pieces. Let’s make 8 pieces. Cut each piece in half again until you have eight pieces. Pick up one piece of the apple and ask, what fraction is this piece? If they have trouble, begin by telling them that you have one of ”how many pieces” (8 pieces) , so what is the fraction? 1/8
- Ask, who wants 1/8 of an apple?
Give one to a student.
What fraction of our apple do we have left? Write 8/8 – 1/8 = ?
If they have trouble, ask them, what’s 8-1?
So the fraction we have left is…. 7/8
Who else wants a 1/8 of an apple?
Give another one away. What fraction of our apple do we have left now? 6/8
Give away 2 more pieces. Put the remaining 4 pieces together so that it looks like 1/2 an apple. Show students how the 4 pieces of apple go back together to look like the original 1/2. Ask them what fraction of the red apple do we have left? 1/2 or 4/8 is acceptable. If they’re not sure, cut the green apple in half. Show them 1/2. Give away the rest of the 1/8 pieces of red apple.
- Continue cutting the green apple in equal pieces, asking them to add and subtract the pieces. Give away the 1/8ths of the green apple. Remind students that if we quit cutting the fruit when we reached 8 pieces, the fractions will always be eighths. The denominator will always be /8, so the only thing you add or subtract is the top number or numerator (number of pieces….see the word “number” in numerator?) On the chart paper, write “numerator” and “denominator” beside the fraction 1/8, showing which is which.
- Continue with the 2 oranges, kiwi, banana, and cantaloupe. When you’re on the banana, explain about equal pieces and how the pieces have to be the same size, or as close as you can, to be fair. Cut the kiwi in half, then scoop out each half, cut it in quarters and give it away as quarters. The cantaloupe can be last and can be divided into many more pieces, but don’t worry about adding and subtracting because it will be too confusing. SAVE THE SEEDS AND PLANT THEM in egg cartons with the students, and measure the height of plants as they grow.
- Do grapes and cherries last. Remind them that they are part of a set. Count how many grapes there are. 15 So, what fraction is one grape? 1/15 What fraction are two grapes? 2/15 Subtract them. I have 15 grapes. I gave one to Sara 1/15, so now I have what fraction of grapes left? 14/15ths. Give away all the grapes. Do the same with the cherries… Write some examples down for the grapes or cherries, like 15/15 – 1/15 = 14/15. Remind them that when they take away, they are only taking away pieces (top number). The bottom number is how many pieces they had in the set. That number stays the same. The only thing that’s changing is the number left in the set. Because we are eating them, the number of pieces in the set is going down, but the set WAS a set of 15 and will always be THAT SET OF 15.
- The cherries are a SET OF 10. You CAN’T change that. Every fraction will be of a set of 10 or something/10. (If a student says, but you can cut them in half and make a set of 20, bonus points, very smart, that’s true. But, for sets like beads on a necklace or vitamin tablets in a jar, those sets stay the same. Half the vitamins left in a bottle of 200, would be 100 or 1/2 the set. SOME SETS cannot be altered.)
- Make sure everyone has had a few tastes of the fruit. Students return to their seats, and teacher posts the chart paper so students can copy the addition and subtraction notes, as well as the rest of the fraction notes into their journals. Encourage them to draw pictures of the cut up fruit so that they will remember the experience.
- This is a super fun lesson. Students pay attention very well because it’s food and they get to eat it. They’re listening really well and it works. They watch and they remember. They’ve seen the fractions being made.