Prior to beginning the lesson: (1) Photocopy the Problem of the Day onto transparency paper for the overhead projector; (2) Cut out and laminate Vocabulary Cards for display in the clasroom; (3) Photocopy Clay Fractions Activity Sheet (1 per student).

Group Size: Partners

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Identify Numerator and Denominator.
  • Identify and write fractions 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, 1/8, and 1/10.

Problem of the Day (see attachment), Clay Fractions Activity Sheet (see attachment), Vocabulary Cards (see attachment), overhead projector, clay or Play-Doh, toothpicks (1 per 2 students)


Lesson Introduction: Display Problem of the Day on the overhead projector. Ask students: What strategy should we use to solve this problem? Guide them towards draw a picture. Solve the problem together as a class. Students can copy problem and solution into math notebooks.

  1. Divide students into partners. Within each partner group, designate a Partner 1 and a Partner 2. Explain to students they should assist their partner when it is not their turn to solve the problem.
  2. Display Vocabulary Cards Fraction, Numerator, and Denominator on the board.
  3. Distribute a handful of clay and a toothpick to each group. Instruct students to shape clay into a flat square.
  4. Tell students: Now I want you to divide your clay into half. Ask students: What is the fraction? Call on one student to write "1/2" on the board. Tell students: Use your toothpick to write one-half on each piece of your clay. Now ask students: What is the numerator? What is the denominator?
  5. Remind students to switch partners and tell them: Next make a flat circle with your clay. Then repeat the same question sequence with one-third.
  6. Remind students to switch partners and thell them: Make a flat square again with your clay. Repeat the same question sequence for one-fourth.
  7. Continuing with a square shape, repeat the same procedure with one-sixth, one-eighth, and one-tenth.
  8. Collect clay and toothpicks from students and distribute Clay Fractions Activity Sheet. Instruct students to work with their partner to draw the fractions they just modeled with their clay.
Modifications: For students with special needs, allow extra time to answer questions and provide one-on-one assistance when necessary.


Teacher should monitor student participation and independent work to ensure all students understand the concept.

Benchmark or Standards:

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Number and Operations Standard:

  • Develop a sense of whole numbers and represent and use them in flexible ways, including relating, composing, and decomposing numbers.
  • Understand and represent commonly used fractions, such as 1/4, 1/3, and 1/2.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Process Standard:

  • Communicate their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others.
Attached Files:

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