Varnelle Moore's
Primary Math Activities


Equal Parts


   Intro to Fractions

Activity 1
   Equal Parts

Activity 2
   Divide and Shade

Activity 3
   Parts to Whole

Activity 4
   Writing Fractions

Teacher Support
   Extension Ideas


Objective: Students will learn to divide a circle into pieces of equal size.

Materials: 6-inch paper plates, scissors, crayons, chart paper

Manipulative Activity:

  1. Display a paper plate. Ask students to describe the plate.
  2. Say, "Let's pretend that this plate is a cookie and I want to share it with a friend."
  3. Ask, "How much should I give to my friend?"
  4. Demonstrate cutting the plate into two unequal parts.
  5. Hold the pieces up. Ask students if they are the same.
  6. Ask, "How can I divide the plate so that the two pieces are the same size?"
  7. Demonstrate several examples of cutting the plate unequally.
  8. Show students two halves. Ask students if the pieces are the same.
  9. Ask, "How do you know?"
  10. You can compare the pieces by placing one on top of the other.

Note: Chart paper is useful for recording student responses just to see what they know. When we get to the point I'm trying to make, we can go on with the lesson. When I ask students to describe the plate, I record their responses on the plate itself. This technique could be used with a journal-writing activity at a Math Center.

Technology Activity: Students will use the applet, Parts of a Whole, from the National Library of Virtual Mathematics Manipulatives. Depending on the availability of computers for your students, this activity could be done individually, with partners, in groups, or as a class.

Have students go to How Many Parts?

Paper/Pencil Activity: Depending on the level of your students, you can have them complete this activity individually or with assistance. Here are some possibilities:

  • Provide a worksheet with different shapes on which they can draw lines to demonstrate two equal parts or halves.
  • Students draw, fold, and cut shapes into equal parts.
  • Provide the children with two sheets of paper and tell them to show two different ways to cut the paper into two equal parts. Ask them to describe how they did it. Was the paper folded in half first, then cut? Did the student estimate, then cut? Was the paper cut horizontally, or vertically?

Literature Connections:

Fraction Fun
David A. Adler (Holiday House; Reprint edition, September 1997)

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