Varnelle Moore's
Primary Math Activities


Divide and Shade


   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 and shade 1/2, 1/3, 1/4.

Materials: 6-inch paper plates, scissors, crayons

Manipulative Activity:

  1. Read the children's picture book Gator Pie, by Louise Mathews.
  2. Discuss the story.
  3. Tell students that they are going to make a Gator Pie.
  4. Distribute two paper plates to each student.
  5. Instruct students to color one plate completely on one side.
  6. Students fold the other plate in half.
  7. Fold the plate in half again so that the plate is divided into fourths.
  8. Open the folded plate and place it on top of the shaded plate.
  9. Start at the edge of the plate; cut on one of the four creases; stop cutting when you reach the center.
  10. Insert the two plates at the cuts and rotate.
  11. Read the story again.
  12. Have students use plates to demonstrate the fractions in the story.

See Ms. Moore's demonstration of the plate manipulative.

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 Shading Fractions.

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

  • Provide a worksheet with six circles.
  • Students rotate their plates.
  • Color one circle to show the same fraction that the plate manipulative is showing.
  • Repeat 5 more times.

Literature Connections:

Gator Pie
Louise Mathews (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1979)

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