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Operations with fractions intimidate many students, especially when presented as number sentences rather than in word problems that seem relevant to students. Converting recipes is a painless way to practice adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions, so use this eating fractions lesson plan to let students plan a classroom party as a motivator to practice. Hold the party afterward to reward their hard work.
- Students will demonstrate the steps in creating equivalent fractions to add or subtract recipe measurements.
- Students will apply skills in adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions to a real-world situation.
- Students will practice measurement skills in real-world applications by preparing recipes converted to various numbers of servings.
- Provide copies of recipes for small groups of students. Each group should receive copies of all of the recipes, although they will ultimately be responsible for making only one of them.
- Provide a copy of the most recent grocery ads from your local newspaper or advertising pages that you create for the ingredients.
- Set the scenario for the groups: You have been given the responsibility of planning the menu for an end-of-semester party. You will need to change the recipes to feed the numbers of guests specified on your recipe cards. You will also need to combine the ingredients from all the recipes to make a shopping list. Your group should then check the grocery ads for the ingredients you need. Subtract the quantity of the ingredients on your list from the package sizes to see what you will have left over.
- Assign each group two different numbers of guests. One of those numbers should match the class enrollment (assign this to all groups) and the other should be larger; this one should also be different for each group. For example, Group A should calculate for the 20 students in the class and then for 35 guests, while Group B calculates for 20 and 50 guests.
- After all calculations have been completed (and checked for accuracy), assign each group one of the recipes to prepare and bring to class. The students should divide the recipe sized for the class by the number of group members to decide how much each person should make to bring for sharing with the rest of the class.
- Provide another recipe and ask students to divide each ingredient by the number of servings made by the recipe to determine how much of each is in a single serving.
- Give students recipes for large quantity cooking, such as restaurant or catering recipes. Have them convert them to 6-8 serving recipes that could be used by an average family.
Celebrate success on the eating fractions lesson plans by eating fractions in class!