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Two-Thirds of Us Have Freckles: A Fraction Lesson for Third Graders

written by: Patricia Gable • edited by: Tricia Goss • updated: 3/1/2016

Research shows that students who understand fractions will have later success in Algebra. Fractions need to be presented in a variety of ways, not just as slices of pizza or parts of a square. Here is a fun way to help students see that fractions can be part of everyday situations.

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    Objective

    Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b. 3.NF.A.1.

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    Materials

    • Old magazines to cut up
    • Construction paper 9"x12" – any color
    • Scissors
    • Glue sticks
    • One or two sample pictures
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    Procedure

    Say, “Today we are going to explore fractions in a different way. In a magazine, I would like you to find a picture of a group of things. It can be pictures of people, animals or objects. The group should have no more than ten items. Bring your choice up to me first before you move to the next step."

    When a student has found an acceptable picture, it can be cut out and glued to a piece of construction paper. Collect the pictures.

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    Activity

    Activity 

     

    Call six students up to the front and ask them to stand facing the class. Then call on volunteers to find a fraction in the group. Maybe two-sixths are boys or three-sixths have white socks. Call on several volunteers to share other fractions about the group.

     

    Place students in groups of three, four or five students. Give each group one picture. The first student looks at the picture and says a fraction seen in the picture.

     

    For example, “Three-sixths of the group is blonde,” or “One-sixth of the group is sitting down.”

     

    Pass the paper to the next student who comes up with a different fraction about the picture. Set a timer for three minutes and see if they can fill the time with fractions!

     

    Trade pictures and repeat the activity as time allows.

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    Follow-up

    Pass out the pictures randomly, one per student. Students will then write five fraction statements about the picture on the back of the paper. If you prefer to save the pictures, the students can do the work on a separate piece of writing paper.

References

  • Kuhns, Catherine Jones and Lasater, Marrie. Common Core Math in Action. Crystal Springs Books, 2015.