Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Fraction Fun

Brenda Lazarus
Colleges and Universities - Florida


In this lesson students learn to identify common fractions. Students should already be familiar with the terms numerator and denominator.


The student represents and explains fractions (one half, one fourth, three fourths) as part of a whole and part of a set using concrete materials and drawings.


-Hershey bars (with squares)
-Cutting board or solid surface
-Paring knife
-Overhead projector
-Fraction transparencies
-Fraction manipulatives for students, e.g. fraction pies
-Blank 8 ˝” x 11” paper, 4 sheets per student
-Crayons or colored pencils
-Computers with Internet access
-Photographs with varying numbers of students, or pictures from magazines with varying numbers of people


1. Gather materials.
2. Arrange for computers to be available.


1. Introduce today's topic - fractions. Present a chocolate bar that is segmented to the students. Explain that you only have three chocolate bars for the class. Ask the students if they have any ideas about how the candy bar can be divided equally for the class. Listen for vocabulary associated with fractions such as divide, whole to parts, how many pieces, etc. Thank them for their ideas and say that they will come in handy in a few minutes. Choose a solution, or offer your own, then divide the candy bars up and distribute to the students. (If you have students that are allergic to chocolate, or you are not able to use food reinforcers, substitute a bag of tangible objects that your class would enjoy or a sheet of stickers that could be divided.)

2. Ask the students if they can give you a fraction that represents the portion of the chocolate bar that each student received? (1/8)

3. Use another food example, such as an apple. Present 4 apples to the students. Ask for ideas about how they can be divided in order for each student to get the same size piece? (1/4 for example )

4. Use the overhead projector to model some fractions for the class using fraction transparencies or models. Use 1/2 + 1/2 = 1;
1/3 + 1/3 + 1/3 = 1; 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 = 1. Using a circular transparency, proceed from whole-to-part first, showing the entire circle. Next, lay on the 2 halves, etc. Next, reverse the process and then do part-to-whole, such as 1/2 + 1/2 = lay on the whole object.

5. Have students use their own sets of manipulatives to reproduce what you show them on the overhead. Allow some practice time with the manipulatives. Circulate to make sure all students have the correct idea about creating the fractions.

6. The next activity is a paper fold. Give each student about 4 sheets of paper (8 ˝” x 11” is good). Ask the students to follow your model. Fold the paper in half. The students should follow your lead. Continue the fold into fourths, eighths, and sixteenths. After each fold, have the students unfold the paper and count the sections. They can label the sections 1/2 , 1/2 for the first fold and 1/4, 1/4, 1/4, 1/4 for the second fold, etc. (The paper fold segment of the lesson may be modified for students with visual perceptual problems by having the students use crayons or colored pencils to shade in the sections as they appear.)

7. Next, have the students take out another sheet of paper and proceed to do the paper fold activity by folding the sheet into thirds. This will take more modeling in order that they all achieve three equal sections with the first fold. After the first fold into thirds, fold the paper in half, making it sixths, and then twelfths.

8. If you desire, students may color in some of the segments to create problems with a partner or in small groups, such as
1/6 + 1/6 = 1/3.

9. The third activity is based on the computer and Internet Websites for fractions. (See Weblinks) If using a lab setting, or enough computers for each student, or each pair of students, all can do the activity at once. If this is not possible, the computer segment can be set up as a learning center. If using a display station with projection screen, show the students how to use the site before having them do it on their own. At the Visual Fractions Website (See Weblinks), start them with the Identify Fractions with Circles activity, then move to the Identify Fractions with Lines portion.

10. The final activity involves creating real-life fraction problems. Show students a photo from a magazine or a real photo and demonstrate how you can make a fraction problem from the photo. For example, if there are 5 children in the picture (3 boys and 2 girls), show the students how to create a fraction from the number of students who are boys, such as 3/5.


For the assessment, students are expected to complete and create fraction problems from pictures or photographs.
1. When given a preselected photo or picture from a magazine, the student completes the fraction problem posed by the teacher having to do with the photo. For example, using a photo with 4 children (2 boys and 2 girls), the student completes this fraction problem: 2/4 = __/2.
2. When given a preselected photo or picture from a magazine, the student creates a fraction statement of his/her own to present to the class. For example, using a photo with 6 objects (2 green, 2 blue, 2 red), the student creates the fraction statement 2/6 = 1/3.

The student must successfully complete each of these formative assessments to be considered having reached mastery of the objectives of the lesson. For the student who has difficulty with one or both assessments, assign a student who was successful on this assessment to serve as a “fraction buddy” for several practice assignments involving creating fraction problems from a photograph. The student retakes the assessment after several days of practice.

This lesson addresses NETS Standards. Circulate and formatively assess students as they use the technology tools. Provide assistance for students who are experiencing difficulty and monitor accordingly. (For more information on these national technology standards, please see the Weblink,, below.)


The Visual Fractions Website used in the lesson goes on to renaming fractions. The site may be revisited as you progress with your study of fractions.

Web Links

Web supplement for Fraction Fun

Web supplement for Fraction Fun

Web supplement for Fraction Fun

Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.