My topic was mostly driven by the fact that I LOVED "The Cookie Fiasco" by Dan Santat and wanted to find a way to use it at one of my school-age programs!
In the book there are four characters but only three cookies! What will they do?
By the end, the nervous Hippo has split the cookies in pieces and there are just enough enough pieces to go around! AKA, they have split the cookies into FRACTIONS!
We talked about what a fraction is -- equal pieces of the whole.
I have a few small tablet white-boards and I used them to demonstrate how the cookies were split into fractions. And then we found the fraction of cookie that each character got to eat.
2a. I asked them if they remember how many cookie pieces were left at the end of the book (12) and how many each character got to eat (3). I drew three circles (cookies) and asked how many equal parts each cookie needed to be divided into in order to get 12 pieces.
2b. The kids gave me several answers and I drew them to demonstrate how many pieces each answer would make.
If we cut each cookie into 2 pieces (1/2), we would get 6 total pieces of cookie:
If we cut each cookie into 3 pieces (1/3), we would get 9 total pieces of cookie:
And, if we cut each cookie into 4 pieces (1/4), we would get 12 total pieces of cookie:
2c. Then we found the fraction of cookie each character would get. If each character gets 3 cookie pieces and the cookies are divided into 4 parts, the amount of cookie they get is 3/4 of a cookie.
Since we needed a bit more background information of fractions - numerators, denominators, the names of fractions, and more, we read some selected parts of the book "Fractions" by Joseph Midthun.
The book used easy-to-understand descriptions and pictures to teach the kids what fractions are. I paper-clipped some of the pages together so that I didn't overwhelm them with too much information.
4. Comparing Fractions Activity
Towards the end of the "Fractions" book it discussed comparing fractions. Using my white-board tablet, I wrote fractions and asked the kids to compare which one was larger.
Then, I drew a picture of each fraction, like I did with the white-board after reading "The Cookie Fiasco", to help them visualize the fraction and see why one fraction was larger than another. It was difficult to realize that larger denominators do not necessarily equal the bigger amount, which is why drawing the fractions helped considerably!
4a. 1/8 vs 1/4
4b. 2/3 vs 1/6
5. Cookie Fiasco Activity
Using the book as inspiration, I created a worksheet for us to work on as a group to fill in. The first part has them fill in the fraction of cookie that matches the fraction. The second part is glasses of milk that they have to fill in.