Number & Operations – Fractions: Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b.

Lesson Time: 50 minutes

This 20-minute activity introduces students in Grades 3-5 to fractions using household items as manipulatives.

Read this PowerPoint Presentation (PDF available too) on “What are fractions?”

A preview of a slide from What are Fractions?

Lesson Activity

Materials: Masking tape and eight household items you don’t mind the kids putting tape on and using as their learning models as needed.
Print this graphic organizer for students to record their work in.

For this activity, you will need up eight practical items students can find at home, plus some tape. They could also use notebooks to record their work.

  1. An adult should help prepare thin masking tape strips beforehand to save some time. During this time, tell them to find the items.
  2. Kids find eight items at home that they can “break” (to do you a favor, they won’t actually break anything) into different pieces using strips of masking tape.
  3. Use tape to visually divide the item into “parts.” Do up to eight pieces.
  4. Draw pictures of each item in the graphic organizer or in your notebook. Draw how each item was separated by tape and write down the fraction it represents as a whole, like 8/8 or 2/2.

Formative Assessment Questions: If you were to share one piece of each item with your parent, write down the fraction that you would be sharing. How many parts of each item would you share with different people?


For at least 30 minutes, play the first level of Fish Lake to continue practicing fractions. Student responses are recorded as they play the game and compiled into reports for teachers to access.


Student reports are included with the game for teachers to use as assessment. Access student reports in the game.

Available on the App Store, the Windows Store, and Mac.

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