Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Slicing Up Food Fractions

Elisabeth Coogle


This quick and easy lesson allows students to learn about fractions by categorizing, cutting, and sorting food items.


The student uses concrete materials to compare fractions in real-life situations.


-A Variety of food. Here are some suggestions:
1 bag of Gummy Bears
1 Oatmeal Creme Pie
1 Bag of Runts
1 Small zip lock bag of Trix
1 Brownie
1 English Muffin
1 Slice of Bread
1 Donut
1 Twin Pack of Cupcakes
1 Cup of Juice
-3 Clear cups
-1 Measuring Cup
-1 Kitchen Knife
-1 Small Plate per student
-Index Cards
-1 copy of attached file


1. Gather Materials
2. Make one copy of attached file
3. Set up a center table


1. Gather students around a large table or in a circle on the floor,so all students can see the area in front of the teacher.
2. Explain to students that today you have a special treat for them. You have brought a variety of food items for the students to sample. Explain that everyone will not get to sample all of the food, but everyone will get something.
3. Remove the first food item, a bag of Gummy Bears. Place 3 red and 1 yellow Gummy Bears on a plate in front of you. Ask students to tell how many Gummy Bears there are on the plate. Write 4 on the bottom of an index card. Now ask a student to tell how many Gummy Bears are yellow. Write the number 1 on the top of the index card. Draw a line between the two numbers to create a fraction. Explain that the one tells the number of Gummy Bears that are yellow. The number on the bottom tells how many Gummy Bears there are in all. Read the fraction aloud by saying, -We read this number as one fourth. One fourth is a fraction.-
4. Remove the second food item, an oatmeal creme pie. Tell students that they need to cut this pie into four equal pieces. Discuss how you will cut the pie. The teacher then cuts the pie. Explain that the pie is now cut into fourths, four equal pieces. Call on a volunteer to eat one of the fourths. Say, -Johnny here is one fourth of our oatmeal pie.- Now ask the class to tell how many pieces are left. Write the fraction on an index card. Compare how the two index cards are alike and different.
5. Remove the third food item, a bag of Runts. Place 3 yellow bananas and 2 red apples on a plate. Ask students to tell how many candies are on the plate. Ask students to tell how many of the candies are bananas. Ask students to tell you what fraction of the candies are bananas. Write three fifths on an index card.
6. Repeat step 5 using remaining Runts 3 or 4 times. For example, you might place 3 oranges and 1 strawberry, or 5 limes and 4 bananas. Record the fractions on index cards next to each plate.
7. Continue to pull other food items out of the bag and divide them into fractions. The type of food and order does not matter. What is important, however, is that some food items need to be cut, and some food items need to be sorted.
8. Pour a cup of juice into a clear cup. Ask students how they would divide the juice into three equal servings. Discuss how the servings would still need to be equal. Pour the juice into two additional clear cups. Call on a volunteer to come drink a glass of juice. Ask students to tell what fraction of the juice is gone. Ask what fraction remains. Show students a measuring cup. Pour one of the clear cups into the measuring cup. Discuss how the cup is marked with a 1/3 line and that the liquid touches this line. Pour the other clear cup of juice into the measuring cup. Now discuss how the liquid touches the 2/3 line.
9. Allow each student to take a plate with a fractional piece of food that you have cut during the lesson. As a review of learning, call on each child to tell about their fraction. If students are unable to provide a correct description of their fraction, ask the student to call on a buddy for assistance.
10. When everyone has shared, enjoy eating fractions.


Students should complete the attached assessment with 70% accuracy.


This is an introductory lesson to fractions or a fraction review lesson.

The teacher can use as many or as few food items as he or she feels necessary to relay the concept to the students.

The teacher might choose to meet individually with students to assess rather than the attached assessment.

Center Activity
1. Provide the following directions, -Look through the magazines for food pictures. Cut out one food picture and paste it onto a piece of paper. Then divide the food into fractions with a marker. Under your picture write about your fraction.-
2. Hold up a print out of the attached file as a demonstration.
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