Teaching Fractions with Pizza
This month during our student-led conferences, my students set 2 goals- a behavior goal and a learning goal. One of my student’s goals was to learn about fractions. In past years, I always made “fraction pizzas” with my first graders and they LOVED it!! So, I pulled out my files, updated them a bit and we fraction pizzas. Here is how we did it.
Making the Pizza
I traced circles on brown paper for each student. I did this for them because I wanted as true a circle as possible so their fractions were as close to accurate as possible. After they cut the circles out, I had them fold the circle twice (forming quarters).
I then gave them time to make their pizzas. First they added the sauce.
And then the cheese.
I then had them cut their pizzas along the fold lines they made earlier. After cutting, each student had 4 equal pieces. They were then asked to put one different topping on each piece of pizza with no repeats. We had all sorts of toppings- olives, ham, bacon, mushrooms, green peppers and even pineapple.
At this point, the group gathered together and we talked about fractions. How they worked, what they mean and I even introduced them the words numerator and denominator. They knew quite a bit more than they imagined simply from cutting things in half and from sharing food or game pieces.
After our discussion, I then had them glue their fourths or quarters onto a large piece of construction paper. They used a prepared paper (see below) and labeled each quarter or fourth according to the topping they put on their pizza. For example, a student who used olives, pineapple, extra cheese and sausage, labeled 1/4 olives, 1/4 pineapple, 1/4 sausage and 1/4 extra cheese.
Here are a few examples of my students’ pizzas.
The final step was to fill out the Fraction Pizza paper. See below.
Some students decided to do the process a second time but dividing their pizza into halves this time. Here is a sample of one student’s pizza cut in half.
That’s it. The class really enjoyed this activity and learned a great deal from it.
This activity is available at the following link:
Included: Fraction Pizza pages for 1/2, 1/3, 1/4
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