Return to Mathematics IndexIntroduction To Equivalent Fractions

Rose Cartwright Lyman Trumbull School

5200 North Ashland Avenue

Chicago IL 60640

312-534-2340Objective:

To examine the part-whole relationship of numbers and to compare one fraction to

another in order to discover their equalities.Materials Needed:

adding machine tape fraction puzzle pieces

crayons masking tape

paperStrategies:

Each student will take a strip of adding machine tape that is 24 inches long.

They will measure the crown of their head. Each tape will be labeled as halves,

thirds, fourths, etc. These tapes will also be marked showing their fractional

parts. Certain colors identify fractional parts--such as red marks 1/2, blue

marks 1/3, orange marks 1/4, etc. After the measurements have been taken, each

student will place his/her tape on the chalkboard with masking tape. From

observation, students can clearly see that all of the red marks are aligned, as

well as all of the other colored marks, that divide each strip into equal parts.

After the students have compared the strips and have noticed the relationships,

they will begin a paper folding exercise that helps to develop the concept of

how two fourths of the whole strip is equal to one half of the same strip. To

do this, fold a sheet of paper in half then color that half sheet of paper. The

students will open the paper to the full sheet and they can see that one half

of the paper is colored. The students will continue to fold the paper into

fourths, and as they unfold the paper, they can see that not only have they

folded the paper into four equal parts, but that half of the paper is the same

space shaded as the two out of four parts. The students will continue to fold

the paper into eighths and sixteenths. They will continue using thirds, fifths,

etc. The students will then use fraction puzzle pieces to create a square made

of equal fraction pieces. Once a square has been completed, students can turn

the puzzle pieces over to see the numeric value of each fraction and discover

that the fractions that make up the square are equal to each other.Performance Assessment:

Given twelve separate squares on a sheet of paper, the students will change

regions that have been divided in half into regions of fourths, eighths and

sixteenths. Regions that have been divided into thirds, will be changed into

sixths and twelfths. As an added discussion, students will be able to see,

looking at their original strips, how many students have the same or equal

head band sizes.Reference:

Reys, Robert E., M. Suydam, and M. Lindquist.How Children Learn MathematicsPrentice Hall, 1989.