EZ as Pie Fraction Action

There are many methods in teaching children fractions.  I modified a traditional fraction lesson from Patty’s Pie Shop Lesson Plan.  My modified lesson plan will be directed towards 3rd and 4th graders.

I will use a pie as an instrument to teach the concept of the fraction.  I will first explain that a fraction represents a portion of the pie.  The pie will be cut into 8 pieces.  Therefore each piece will represent 1/8 of the pie.  I will also explain the terminology associated with fractions such as numerator (top number) and denominator (bottom number of the fraction).  The bottom number represents the total amount of slices in the pie and the top number represents how much is remaining in the pie.  For example 5/8 means that there are 5 pieces left out of a possible 8 pieces.

It will be easier for children to understand fractions if they have visual aides to represent the equation.  Children are visual learners and the best technique of how to teach fractions, in my opinion, involves showing them what fractions are.  Making them realize that they use and see fractions everyday without even knowing it.  My sons favorite sport is basketball and he figured out that free throw percentages are fractions.  His favorite player, Carmelo Anthony shot 9/10 from the free throw line, so his free throw percentage was 90% of that game.

I would modify this lesson by adding in some game play ideas.  I drew a picture of a pie and cut it into pieces.  I then made a wheel that has the different fractions on them.  The first step would be to spin the wheel.  If the wheel lands on 1/4, the next step would be to show me, using the pie, what is 1/4 of the pie.  Then they will have to tell me what is the percent of 1/4, if he gets it correct, he gets 2 tickets, he will then have 2 chances to throw a jack into a bowl labeled with the correct percentage of the fraction.  If he gets it in he gets 3 more tickets.

mockup of my game

My eight year old son was the first player.  He spun the wheel and it landed on 3/8.

He then showed me what 3/8 of a pie looks like.

The next step was to tell me what percent is 3/8 equal to, he couldn’t tell me what the answer was because he didn’t know how to work it out.  He is in third grade so they didn’t do fractions and division yet.  So, I decided to make a small chart that shows the division on how to get the percentage of a fraction e.g. 3/8 x 100/1 then divide….  By making this chart, he was able to see how fractions turn into percents.  After I did that he was able to find the answer so he got 2 chances to throw the jack into the bowl labeled 37.5%

My other two children, ages 5 and 10 also played the game.  The ten year old was able to to get everything correct because he is learning fractions in school, getting the jack into the bowl was a bit challenging but he had fun trying.  Surprisingly my five year old was able to show me on the pie the correct fraction but of course she wasn’t able to tell me the percentage.  The chart was not easy enough for her to find the answer.  She also had a tough time getting the jack into the correct bowl because of her aim.  She had a lot of fun playing and I’m sure if she played a few more times, she would know all the fractions and percents.

The kids had a lot of fun playing this game.  My 10 year old who is in fifth grade has to memorize fractions on flashcards.  I make him sit for twenty minutes a day and memorize them which he hates.  He thought this was a much better way to learn.  This mockup has simple fractions, once students can grab the concept, I can change the fractions and percentage to suit their age group.