Fraction Art

4 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT create a picture using whole, half of, and quarter of shape pieces. SWBAT accurately use standard notation to label fractional parts.

Big Idea

Today your students will use their knowledge of fractions and their artistic ability to create fractional art.

Warm Up

5 minutes

I have the students gather in a circle on the carpet.  I will use a demonstration clock and set different hour and half hour times. 

"I will set my clock to a time.  Your job will be to look at the clock and determine what time the clock is set to."

I then pair the students up and give each team a clock.  

"I now want you to do the same thing with for partner.  Takes turns setting the clock and telling the time." 

At this point in the year, I am reviewing established routines and concepts from the year long curriculum. This activity is meant for students who are familiar with the use of a clock and understand the basic time concepts. This is also a great activity to start a lesson on fractions with, since much of the vocabulary of clocks can transfer (half past, quarter to, etc.).

This activity has students telling and writing times to hours and half hours.  This meets the CCSS CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.MD.B.3.

Introducing Fraction Art

10 minutes

Advanced Preparation:  You will need blank white paper, construction paper, tracers, pencils, scissors and markers.

The purpose of this activity is to have the students focus on the connection to a whole shape and halves and quarters of shapes.  The students will create a picture by using wholes, halves and quarters of different shapes.  They will also be asked to label the shapes as 1, 1/2 or 1/4 using standard fractional notation (CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.G.A.3).

I have included a video (Introducing Fraction Art) of how I introduced this activity to the class.  It is 4 minutes but truly captures how to introduce the activity to the class.

The basics of the activity:

*Students use templates to trace shapes onto construction paper.

*They then cut the shapes of 1/4s. 1/2s, or leave them whole.

*They label the part accordingly (1/2, 1/4. or 1)

*They then glue the shape onto a bigger piece of paper and create an picture with their shapes.  

Creating Fraction Art

40 minutes

Students will now work on their own pictures.  As students are working, I will circulate to see how they are dividing shapes and notating the fraction.  I will ask students questions that will require them to use language such as half of or a fourth of and also relate the smaller parts to the whole (CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.G.A.3).  

In this situation the students are making sense of quantities and their relationships in problem situations by breaking a whole into smaller but equal parts. They bring two complementary abilities to bear on problems involving quantitative relationships.  The students understand that the smaller parts added together make the sum of the whole (CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP2).  This is evident when they take a whole shape, cut it into equal parts, and then label the parts of the original whole.

Lesson Wrap Up

10 minutes

I gather the students back on the carpet and grab a couple examples of students' completed pictures (Completed Picture 1 & Completed Picture 2).

"I would like to take a look at some of your pictures.  Let's look at the first one (Completed Picture 1).  Why is there a 1 on the red circle?  What about the two triangles?  Why are they each labeled 1/2?  What do the two halves make?"

 I continue to ask questions that relate the fractional parts to the whole and refer to the fraction notation.  I then repeat the process with the second picture (Completed Picture 2).

In this case the students are describing the whole shape as two of, or four of the shares. They are also demonstrating an understanding that decomposing shapes into more equal shares creates smaller shares (CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.G.A.3).

Continued Practice

5 minutes

I will ask the students to meet me on the carpet and hand out their sheet for today's Mad Minute exercise.  This routine was introduced in a previous lesson.  Please check out the link to get a full overview of this routine.

I want to really focus on fact fluency and build upon the students ability to solve within ten fluently (CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.OA.C.6).  I am going to use the Mad Minute Routine.  This is a very "old school" routine, but I truly feel students need practice in performing task for fluency in a timed fashion.  Students need to obtain fact fluency in order to have success with multiplicative reasoning.  Students who don't gain this addition fact fluency by the end of 2nd grade tend to struggle with the multiplicative reasoning in third.  Having this fluency also allows them to work on more complex tasks because the have the fact recall to focus on the higher level concepts.