Unit Fractions


The purpose of this activity is to help your child understand how to order fractions where the numerator (number on the top) is 1.

Link to Number Framework:

Number Sequence, Stage 6

What you need:

  • Pen and paper
  • Apples (real or drawn)

What to do:

  • Ask your child:
    • Which is bigger, one half or one quarter?
    • How do you know which is bigger?
    • Can you imagine half of an apple and quarter of an apple? Which is bigger?
    • How about one third of an apple – is it bigger or smaller than one half? Is it bigger or smaller than one quarter?
  • Cut three apples up, one into halves, one into quarters and one into thirds. These could be real apples, or pictures of apples drawn on paper. Compare the sizes. What can you say about the sizes?
  • Ask your child to write the three fractions down - 1/2, 1/3, 1/4. Make sure that they know how to correctly write each fraction.
  • Ask your child to explain what each fraction means. You should expect an answer that describes how many parts the whole is split into, for example, one half means the whole is split into two pieces.

What to expect your child to do:

  • Correctly write unit fractions and understand what they mean - 1/2 means the whole is split into 2 parts and you have one of them, 1/4 means the whole is split into 4 parts and you have one of them.
  • Recognise that the more pieces an object is cut into, the smaller each piece will be.


  • Include other unit fractions - 1/5, 1/6, 1/8, 1/10.
  • Use contexts other than apples (cakes, pizzas) or objects that are not round but long and uniform in shape for example French breadstick.

Related Māori vocab:

equal partswāhanga ōrite
bigger fractionhautau nui ake
smaller fractionhautau iti ake

Download a file of this activity:

PDF (507KB) or Word (45KB)

Download a file of this activity including questions to ask in Māori:

PDF (521KB) or Word (50KB)