Varnelle Moore's
Primary Math Activities


Parts to a Whole


   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 use fruit to illustrate how parts make a whole.

Materials: citrus fruit including oranges, tangerines, grapefruit.

Manipulative Activity:

  1. Distribute one piece of fruit to each pair of students.
  2. Talk about the shape of the fruit.
  3. List other objects that have the same shape as the fruit.
  4. Ask each team to separate the fruit sections.
  5. Count the number of sections.
  6. State, "If I remove one of the pieces, that would be one out of six."
  7. Ask, "If I remove two of the sections, what would that be?"
  8. Demonstrate how to write a fraction to illustrate one out of six, etc.
  9. Reinforce the idea that a fraction means a part of a whole.

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 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 pictures of fruit. [It could be fun to have a survey to see how many sections there really are in each fruit.]
  • Students color the fruit to represent fractions given.

Literature Connections:

Eating Fractions
Bruce McMillan (New York: Scholastic 1991)

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