The purpose of this activity is to help your child to cut objects into equal parts and name each part using the correct fractional name.
Link to NZ Curriculum:
Your child is learning to use equal sharing strategies with whole numbers and fractions.
What you need:
- Play dough - click for recipe (PDF, 325KB)
- A plastic knife, or ‘safe’ kitchen knife
- At least four favourite toys
What to do:
Have your child explore the play dough, making and talking about different things they are making.
- Ask if they can make some sausages for a pretend BBQ for the toys. Have them talk about the sausages they have made. Some may be wider and some longer.
Talk about fairness of portions. Challenge your child to make all their sausages the same length and width (size and shape).
- Have them chose two toys. Explain that one sausage is cooked and ready to be shared by the two toys. Make the knife available and have your child ‘share the sausage fairly’. Suggest to your child that they first make one little mark on the dough sausage where they might cut, and check that the portions are the same, before making one cut and sharing.
Talk about the two equal parts each of which is called one half. Ask if the toys would be happy with their share of the sausage. (Yes, because they have the same amount and it is fair).
Highlight the fact that the pieces are two halves of one whole sausage.
Have toys pretend to eat their pieces of BBQ sausage.
- Add a third toy. The next cooked sausage is ready to be shared fairly between the three toys.
Repeat the process, including having your child make two little marks before cutting, checking that the three portions that will result from two cuts, will be fair. Your child may need to have several attempts at making little marks of fair portions before finally cutting. Name the parts as thirds. Again, highlight that the pieces are three thirds of one whole sausage.
- Repeat with four toys and quarters.
- Talk together about what they have been doing (fairly sharing one whole thing into parts of the same size).
- You could pose, “What would you do if there was one sausage to share amongst five toys?”
- Talk about situations when your family needs to share one whole thing into equal parts.
If appropriate, use the play dough to model a real family-sharing situation. Take time to check that the portions are fair.
What to expect your child to do:
- Share a length into two equal parts, into three equal parts, and into four equal parts.
- Use fraction names of one half, one third and one quarter.
- Be able to talk about fair shares.
Related Māori vocab:
|equal parts||wāhanga ōrite|