Lesson on Fractions: Equal Parts

written by: Kathy Foust • edited by: Laurie Patsalides • updated: 9/11/2012

This lesson plan serves as an introduction to fractions. Students will find and identify equal parts. Students will identify amounts of equal parts. This is a fun math activity to begin the process of introducing students to fractions

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Equal Parts

In this math fraction lesson plan, students will learn to identify equal parts. This is an important concept to develop before students can proceed to working with fractions. If fractions are introduced properly, students will easily grasp how to use them and thus will be able to proceed with limited problems. To do this activity students will need to have prior knowledge of equal parts and be able to group said parts. Students should also have items available such as the pencils suggested below on order to complete the activity.

1. Ask students to get their pencils, pens and markers out of their desks. Have them lay the writing utensils on top of their desk.
2. Ask students to group together like writing utensils.

Explain to students that this is the concept of grouping. Further explain that all of the items in their desk belong to a group called writing utensils. Ask them how many groups they have. Write the number on the board. This number should be 3. Discuss with students the fact that out of those 3 groups, only one of those groups are pencils. Write this as a written fraction on the board. Repeat this activity with the pens and markers. Move on to the next activity.

1. Have students put away everything but their pencils.
2. Make sure students all have some unsharpened pencils along with the sharpened ones.
3. Ask the students to consider the length of the pencils.
4. Are all the pencils equal lengths?
5. Ask students to group pencils into equal lengths. At least one group should be all the same size, unsharpened pencils. Explain that these are equal parts.

Discuss the concept of equal parts with your students. Have students look to their own bodies for equal parts. Ask the students the following questions.

• Are their two arms equal parts?
• Are their two eyes equal parts?
• Are their two feet equal parts?
• Are their eyes and feet equal parts to each other? Why not?
• Is there nose an equal part to their eyes? Why not?
• Ask students to identify equal parts on their own bodies.
• Ask students to look around the room and identify equal parts.

Discuss equal parts with your students. Encourage them to ask any questions they may have concerning equal parts. Most of the work in introducing fractions involves explaining to students how to turn equal parts into fractions. Once students are able to grasp the concept that physical equal parts can be written as fractions, they should have no problem proceeding with further lessons about fractions.