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Lesson Plans
Parts of a Whole
1st–2nd Grade
Objectives Objectives
  • Students will understand that fractions are equal parts of a whole.
  • Students will identify the numerator and denominator of a fraction.
  • Students will match fractions to shaded parts of a circle.
Materials Materials Needed


Read aloud Apple Fractions by Jerry Pallotta to introduce fractions as parts of a whole.



  1. Review some of the concepts in the book by holding up an apple and asking students how much of the apple you are holding. (A whole apple.)
  2. Ask students how to split this apple so two people could share it. (Divide it in half, or into two equal parts.) Cut the apple into two equal parts and hold each half up for the class. Explain that each part is called a fraction.
  3. Write “1/2” on the board. Remind students that the number on top is called the numerator and the number on bottom is called the denominator. The fraction 1/2 means “1 of 2 equal parts.” Then draw a circle on the board and shade in half of it to show the fraction in picture form.
  4. Ask students, “If I divide this apple into four equal parts and give you three of those parts, what fraction would you have?” (3/4.) Write “3/4” on the board and reinforce that this fraction shows three out of four equal parts.
  5. Draw another circle on the board and divide it into four equal parts. Ask students how they would shade in the circle to show the fraction 3/4. (Shade in three of the four parts.)
  6. Repeat with a few other examples (2/3, 3/5, 5/8, etc.), dividing the circle into equal parts and asking students how to shade it in to represent the fraction.
Guided Practice Guided Practice

  1. Photocopy a set of fraction match-up puzzles for each student. Explain to students that they are going to practice matching fractions to their corresponding pictures. Remind students that the numerator is the shaded part of each circle and the denominator is the total number of parts.
  2. Have students cut out the pieces and mix them up. (You can precut pieces for younger students.)
  3. Challenge students to trade puzzle pieces with a partner and see who can match the fractions and pictures faster!

View the 1st–2nd Grade lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)
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