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Picture of rainbow I made using fraction piecesFractions through Picture Pies

Lesson Plan


The objective of this lesson is for students to gain an understanding of the concepts of fractions as well as different fractions that are equivalent to one another. This lesson was inspired by the book Picture Pie written by Ed Emberly.


| Advanced Preparation | Planned Provisions | Management | Introduction | Lesson | Closure |

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Advanced Preparation

For this lesson, you will need a variety of fraction pieces. These fraction pieces can be cut out of construction paper into halves, fourths, eighths and whole circles. One recommendation I have would be to cut the fraction pieces using a variety of colors. This gives the students a bigger selection to choose from when they begin creating their Picture Pie.

Using some of the fraction pieces you will need to construct a model. The model will serve as a visual aid for the students and help explain how the different fraction pieces relate to the whole pie.

Supplies you will need on the day of the lesson include scissors, glue and additional construction paper to glue the fraction pieces on. For the beginning of this lesson you will need measuring cups, rice, and a large bowl. To help students identify which and how many fractions he/she used making their picture pie, you will need to prepare a worksheet.

Planned Provisions

The models that have all ready been constructed for the students will serve as a visual aid and help those who are visual learners. The students will be able to see the actual fraction piece and how it relates to the rest of the pie. From this model, students are also able to discover/learn things on their own. For example, 2/4 is equal to 1/2, 4/8 is equal to 1/2, etc.

Verbal instructions as well as asking guided questions will ensure that the students are following each step. This will also help those students who learn best auditorally. Using the rice and measuring cups will ensure hands on learning for those students who learn best spatially.


This is an individual activity where each student will have their own supplies. Each student will need to provide their own scissors and glue. Each student will be supplied with their own model to look at, four circles, fraction pieces, and an extra piece of construction paper to glue their fraction pieces on. The four circles the students will each be given will be in four different colors. The students will use these circles to create different fraction sizes. One circle will be used to represent the whole circle. The other three will be cut into different fraction sizes (halves, fourths, eighths). These can be handed out after the introduction of the lesson.


Ask students: “How many of you have helped your mom, dad, brother, sister out in the kitchen? Perhaps you were making chocolate chip cookies or a birthday cake? Did you know that when you are cooking you are using fractions? Today, we are going to begin by doing some measuring using some of the measuring utensils we use when we are cooking in the kitchen.”(Show measuring cups)

1. First begin by showing the class what a whole cup looks like. Fill the whole cup full of rice and pour the rice into the bowl.
2. Next show 1/2 of a cup. Ask students: How many 1/2 cups would be needed to make a whole cup? Allow time for students to do some pre-estimating. Encourage the students to make a prediction reminding them that he/she can never be wrong when estimating. After students estimate, ask and see if there is anybody who wants to help figure out and see how close the class’s estimates were.
3. Show 1/4 of a cup. Refer back to what was done with the 1/2 cup. Ask students how many 1/4’s of a cup will make one whole cup? Allow time for students to estimate and make predictions. After the predictions have been made, ask for another volunteer again to test their predictions.
4. Recap what the students have learned.( Two 1/2 cups = one whole cup and four 1/4 cups = one whole cup) Ask students how many 1/8’s of a cup would fit into a whole cup. This would be the end of the introduction! At this time, the four different colored circles would be handed out to each of the students.


To begin the lesson, ask the students to each grab the red circle. (*Note different colors can be used throughout the lesson) Explain to the class that the red circle will represent the “whole” circle, similar to the whole cup. Next tell the students to grab the purple circle. Recall with the class what was learned using the measuring cups. For example how two halves make a whole. As students how they can fold the circle so they have two halves. After they fold the circle, they can use the scissors to cut on the fold in which they made. One of the halves (hold up) will represent one half of the whole circle. Demonstrate how two halves fit into the whole circle. Do the same thing with 1/4 and 1/8.

Following this will be the “Picture Pie” activity. At this time students will have the opportunity to use the fraction pieces that were pre-cut for them to create a picture. I have included in this website some of the examples I created that were taken from Ed Emberly’s Picture Pie book.

The next 15-20 minutes would be work time for the students to create their picture. If students were to finish early, he/she could create another picture using the fraction pieces or help one of their classmates. This will give time to be a peer tutor. After work time, the students will be given a worksheet to help them identify which and how many fraction pieces they used. The students would then be able to share with their classmates their picture and what fraction pieces he/she used to create it.


After the students have gotten the opportunity to share the pictures they created with their classmates, their work can be put on display for all to see! Not only will they be able to learn about fractions from their own fraction pictures but from other students as well.

| Advanced Preparation | Planned Provisions | Management | Introduction | Lesson | Closure |

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Picture of pencil I took from  photoshop

Questions? Contact Lindsay Vohen at
Page last updated April 1, 2004