EL Support Lesson

Share a Pizza

Everyone loves pizza! Introduce the concept of fractions as equal shares in a familiar context. Use alone or with **Halves as Equal Shares.**
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Halves as Fair Shares lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Halves as Fair Shares lesson plan.

Students will be able to divide circles and rectangles into halves.


Students will identify and describe halves as equal parts using content-specific vocabulary with sentence frame support.

(3 minutes)
  • Gather students on the rug and draw a large circle on the board.
  • Say something like, "Every Friday I invite my friend over for pizza. She loves pineapple on her pizza. I think that's weird. I only like anchovies on my pizza."
  • Shade one fourth of the circle. Tell students, "My friend thinks that the amount I just shaded, or colored in, should have anchovies, and the rest should be pineapple. What do you think?"
  • Discuss with students that your friend is not being fair. The amount of each type of pizza is not equal.
(10 minutes)
  • Introduce the activity by explaining that today students will work with a partner to divide one whole pizza in half, so that each partner has an equal part, or amount of pizza, with their favorite topping.
  • Return to the example of sharing the pizza with a friend. Ask students which ingredients would go on the whole, or entire, pizza. Write "whole pizza" and list sauce and cheese.
  • Tell students to be careful, because whole with a "w" is different from the word hole, which means an opening. Whole means all in one piece, or not divided. For example, "I ate the whole bowl of ice cream. I ate all of it."
  • Display the pineapple and anchovies Pizza Topping cards, and instruct students to turn and talk to a partner to name other pizza toppings.
  • Remind students that it is possible to order pizza with one half of one topping and one half of another topping. One half means that one of two equal parts has one topping.
  • Write "half pizza" and list student ideas for toppings that could be put on half the pizza.
  • Return to the example problem. Choose a student volunteer to come up and divide the pizza in half, so you and your friend each get an equal amount of pizza.
  • Say, "The whole pizza will have sauce and cheese. Half of the pizza will have pinapple, and half of the pizza will have anchovies."
  • Model drawing tiny fish on the anchovy half, and triangles on the pineapple half.
  • Display Vocabulary Cards, and have students add terms to the Glossary (optional).
(10 minutes)
  • Ask students to share their favorite pizza toppings, and display Pizza Topping cards as students suggest these toppings.
  • Distribute individal white boards and dry erase markers or scratch paper to students.
  • Use student responses to tell story problems. For example, "Jenni wants mushrooms, and Dylan wants black olives. How can they divide the pizza equally?"
  • Direct students to draw a circle and divide it into two equal pieces, or halves. Draw small circles for olives on one half, and triangles with circles on top for mushrooms on the other half.
  • Display the sentence frame, "The pizza has ____ on one half, and ____ on the other half."
  • Tell students to use the sentence frame to describe the pizza to a partner.
  • Tell another story problem. Say, "Junie and Carlos both want peppers. What would the pizza look like?"
  • Have students sketch the pizza on their whiteboard, drawing small, curved lines to show peppers. Display the sentence frame, "The whole pizza has ____ ." Then, have students use the sentence frame to describe the pizza to a partner.
  • Ask students if they have seen pizza in the shape of a rectangle, such as those served in school cafeterias.
  • Model drawing a rectangle on the board, and have students draw them on their whiteboards. Pose story problems to the students, guiding them to divide a rectangle horizontally, vertically, and diagonally to create equal shares of pizza.
(10 minutes)
  • Put students in pairs and have them discuss their favorite pizza topics using the sentence frame, "I like ____ and ____ on my pizza."
  • Ask students whether they want to order a circular or rectangular pizza. Give each student the Pizza Template, or a paper plate, to create a pizza. Students can draw toppings, or color and cut out toppings from the Pizza Toppings cards.
  • Tell students to imagine that the whole pizza already has sauce and cheese. They should divide the pizza in half, and draw or glue their favorite toppings on each half of the pizza.


  • Provide more examples and nonexamples of circles and rectangles divided into equal parts.
  • Build understanding of halves by providing other examples of things that are typically cut in half, such as a sandwich or cookie.


  • Teach students to divide circles, squares, and rectangles in four equal parts. Emphasize the th in the word fourths so students do not hear fours. Draw four circles on the board and label the drawing "fours." Divide a circle into fourths, and label the drawing "fourths." Underline "ths."
  • Tell students that half is an irregular plural, and we say "two halves." Write the word "halves" and enunciate the v as you give an example, such as "The two halves of the pizza are different."
(5 minutes)
  • Circulate around the room during independent work time and prompt students to describe their pizzas using the sentence frame, "The pizza has ____ on one half, and ____ on the other half."
  • Instruct students to mingle in the classroom. When you ring a bell (or stop music), they should find a partner. Each partner should take a turn describing their pizza. Play a few times, giving students an opportunity to share their work.
(2 minutes)
  • Call students back to the rug and show a few example pizzas from the class.
  • Remind the students that today they divided a whole pizza into two halves, or equal parts.
  • Display student work in the classroom on a bulletin board titled "One Half of a Pizza."

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