Lesson plan

Cooking School Fractions

Make equivalent fractions matter in the real world with this hands-on math lesson! Students use measuring cups and spoons to recognize and generate equivalent fractions.
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Students will be able to recognize and generate equivalent fractions through the use of measuring cups and spoons.

(10 minutes)
  • Begin the lesson by activating your students' prior knowledge of and experiences with cooking and baking. Great example questions include: Who has ever made anything in the kitchen? Who has baked anything? What sort of tools do you use for cooking and baking?
  • Allow a few students to share their experiences.
  • After some discussion, display the measuring cups and spoons. Ask your class to tell you about the tools.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell your class that the focus of today's lesson is on equivalent fractions, reminding your students that equivalent means equal to or the same as.
  • Show your class each measuring cup and spoon, explaining the fraction that is used on each.
  • Explain that the exact measurements are important in cooking, but are more important in baking. Sometimes, you may not have all of the measuring equipment you need, so knowing and using equivalent fractions is important for baking and cooking.
  • Tell students that today they will use rice and salt to find equivalent fractions.
  • Explain that rice is used a lot in cooking and salt is a critical ingredient in both baking and cooking.
(25 minutes)
  • Give each group a set of measuring cups and spoons.
  • Explain that each group will work together to find equivalent fractions. After some group work, students will work independently.
  • Instruct your students to start work with the measuring cups.
  • Pass out a copy of the Cooking School Fractions Recording Sheet to each student. Explain that this will be used to record their work in this part of the lesson and then used to help complete their independent work later.
  • Ask student volunteers to tell you the size of each measuring cup. Record the sizes on the board.
  • Repeat the process with the measuring spoons.
  • Pass out the rice and salt to each group.
  • Display the recording sheet using an interactive whiteboard, document camera, or projector. Alternatively, you can use chart paper.
  • Work through the recording sheet with the groups, reminding students to record the equivalent fractions as you do, displaying your work on the projected (or enlarged) chart.
  • Once the class has completed the Cooking School Fractions Recording Sheet, have them clean up the rice and salt. Leave the measuring cups and spoons out on their tables, in case they need to reference them during independent working time.
  • Make sure students keep their Cooking School Fractions Recording Sheet with them, to help with the next activity.
(20 minutes)
  • Pass out a Cooking School Equivalent Fraction Problems worksheet to each student.
  • Tell students that they are now going to use their Cooking School Fractions Recording Sheet to help them solve some some equivalent fraction problems.
  • As students work, walk around and assist people as they need it, asking guiding questions or giving examples to help them solve each problem.
  • Enrichment: Challenge advanced students to try out measurement problems using smaller fractions. This will encourage students to begin thinking more abstractly about fractions, since they won't be able to solve the equation concretely with the measuring cups or spoons.
  • Support: Gather students who need extra support together into a small group. Choose a simple sample fraction to work with, such as 1/2. Ask these students for fractions equivalent to 1/2, writing them down as they're suggested. Ask these students to look at the fractions, and identify any patterns they see. Helping students identify patterns gives them another strategy to use to create equivalent fractions.
(10 minutes)
  • Formative assessment: Make note of each student's participation during whole class components of the lesson. Record who may need more practice beyond the lesson.
  • Summative assessments: Assess each student's work on the Cooking School Fractions Recording Sheet and Cooking School Equivalent Fraction Problems worksheets to gauge their understanding of equivalent fractions.
(5 minutes)
  • Five minutes before the ends of class, gather your class together and pass out one index card per student.
  • Instruct your students to write one set of equivalent fractions on their card. For example: 1/2 = 2/4

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