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Lesson Plans
I'll Halve S'more Please!!
OverviewProcedure for teachersStudent Resources and Materials
Prep for Teachers
Download the Shockwave and Flash plug-ins, available at http://www.shockwave.com and http://www.flash.com to computers that will be used during this lesson. CUE the videotape to the appropriate starting point. Prepare the student materials and handouts for the lesson by providing a copy for each student.

Prepare four s'mores for the lesson. The teacher will eat one s'more and the others will be used in the demonstration. A s'more consists of one chocolate bar with three to four marshmallows sandwiched between two graham crackers. The s'more is typically heated to melt the chocolate with the marshmallows.

When using media, provide the students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, a specific task to complete and/or information to identify during or after viewing video segments, Web sites, or other multimedia components.

Introductory Activity

Step 1

Show the students a s'more and discuss how it is made. . .a s'more consists of one chocolate bar with three to four marshmallows sandwiched between two graham crackers. Ask your students if they like s'mores. Carefully cut or break one of the s'mores into two equal sized pieces and begin eating it very slowly. Hopefully, you will have piqued enough of their attention to begin the discussion of fractions.

Step 2

After swallowing your initial bite of s'more, show the students a whole s'more that is unbroken. Have students compare the uneaten half of the first s'more and the unbroken one and describe that the big one represents a "whole," while the little piece represents a "part of the whole." Some students might mention the word "fraction" as they have seen it before. If so, write it on the board and have kids pronounce the word. You might relate "fraction" to "fracture," a break or a part. This is one way to remember the word and its meaning.

Step 3

Ask two students to come to the front of the room. Present them with the whole s'more. Ask the class to suggest how these two students could share the s'more. (They will probably suggest cutting it into two parts.) Ask your students if you can cut it anywhere, and appear to be about to cut the s'more so that there is a tiny piece and a large piece. Have students discuss that the pieces have to be the same size to be fair. You might want to place the piece on the whole one and flip it back and forth to show that when we make the cut, there will be 2 equal sized pieces.

Step 4

Now, carefully cut or break the whole s'more in half. Looking at one of the two student volunteers standing, ask the class, how much will one of the volunteers get? Discuss that the student would get one of the two pieces. Emphasize that in order to share among two students, you divided the whole into two equal sized pieces.

Step 5

Ask your students, "How can we write the number that represents a part of the whole?" Some students might know how to write it. Have them describe it first in words. Put up the 12 X 3 inch paper to serve as the fraction bar. Have a student place the cut out numeral "1" over the fraction bar, and the numeral "2" under it. Ask what the "2" means (the number of equal sized pieces to share), and what the "1" means (the number each person got). Reward your two student volunteers with one half of the s'more apiece.

Step 6

Ask the students the question, "Do you want s'more?" Of course, the implication is that the students are offered the actual s'more. The teacher, on the other hand, will seize the moment to retaliate with more fraction concepts. This is a cheesy yet humorous approach to teaching fractions but it will work--especially at the end of the day.

Step 7

Ask the students if you could share a whole s'more with more students? They will most likely respond with a resounding, "yes." Bring four student volunteers to the front of the room. Hold up a single graham cracker and ask a student to point to specific places on the s'more to make where breaks or cuts could be made to divide the graham cracker. Since the cracker is divided into four sections, typically students will point to the lines to break. Break the graham cracker on the lines indicated, and show the number of pieces. At this point, you should have four pieces of graham cracker. Discuss the meaning of fraction again, stressing the whole was cut into four equal-sized pieces to share with four students, and each got one of the pieces. Ask your students how you could represent one of the pieces as a fraction. Have student use the cut-out numbers and place them in the proper position above and below the fraction bar (students should place the cut-out number one above the bar, and the cut-out number four below the bar.) Have the students say "one-fourth." If the opportunity arises, students might want to name the top number the "numerator" and the bottom number the "denominator."

Step 8

Ask the class the question, " Do you want s'more?" Since they have already heard this question, give one of the students who say "yes" a piece of the s'more you began eating at the beginning of the lesson. Tell the students you will give them some more, but that it's going to get trickier.

Step 9

Bring out two more whole s'mores. Ask your students discuss how the two s'mores could possibly be shared among the four student volunteers. There are many ways to do this. Consider sketching students' answers on the board. For instance, you could break each s'more into four equal size pieces (making a total of eight pieces in all), and give each of the four student volunteers two pieces. You could also break each s'more in half, and give each student piece.

Step 10

Have students use the cut out numbers to form each fraction. You might want to discuss that what they are saying means that and 2/4 represent the same amount. By putting the two one-fourth pieces together they will get the one-half sized piece.

Step 11

For the last time, ask the class the question, "Do you want s'more?" Regardless of their answer, give each student their own plate of ingredients to make a s'more. Show the students how to make a s'more by placing the chocolate bar and the marshmallows in between the graham crackers. Challenge the students to try and break their s'more into eight even pieces without crumbling the crackers. Based on your approval, students may eat fractional portions of their s'more.


Learning Activities

The Cyberchase episode "Zeus on the Loose," will help demonstrate to students how fractions can be used as a practical tool in everyday life. If your students are not familiar with the series, introduce the students to the characters on the show using the Cyberchase Web site at http://pbskids.org/cyberchase/meet.html.

Provide the students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to look at the page and list the main characters. This will allow the students to become more familiar with the characters. If students are familiar with all the characters, this step may skipped. After students have viewed the site, their list of characters should include:
Inez, Matt, and Jackie - The Cyberchase kids
Digit - their sidekick, a talking bird
Motherboard and Dr. Marbles - guardians of Cyberspace
Hacker- the villain, out to destroy the Motherboard and gain control over Cyberspace
Buzz and Delete - Hacker's evil sidekicks

Step 1

CUE Cyberchase #106: "Zeus on the Loose" to the beginning of the episode for a brief synopsis of how the Cyberchase story began. If students are familiar with the storyline, then CUE Cyberchase #106 to the point immediately after the theme song, where you see Zeus towering over the Cyberchase kids. Give each student the handout titled, "Zeus on the Loose." Provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking the students to listen for the first riddle the Cyberchase kids have to solve. PLAY the tape.

Step 2

PAUSE the tape when Zeus throws a lightening bolt at the Cyberchase kids. CHECK student comprehension and see if students are able to repeat the riddle. REWIND the portion of the video stating the riddle and REPLAY. Have the students fill in key words in the riddle on the handout. Restate the riddle for the students (Answer to Questions #1-#5 on handout -Riddle: Beasts and fates can set you free, when you divide the shares equally. Find my cave. Survive the rain. A second chance is yours to gain. The answers are the words in BOLD letters) Once the students have the key words filled in on their handout, you may proceed.

Step 3

Provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to determine how to equally divide the laurel wreath for the three Fates. PLAY the video. PAUSE when the video shows the three Fates fighting over the laurel wreath. Give each student a piece of string, and ask your students if they can find a way to divide it into three equal pieces. What are their suggestions? (Student answers will vary.)

Step 4

Ask your students to make predictions about how the Cyberchase kids could divide the laurel wreath into three equal pieces. Have students write their predictions on the handout (#6). Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to check and see if their predictions are correct.

PLAY the video. PAUSE video when Inez says, "One-third for you, one-third for you and one-third for you." The screen will show Inez handing each Fate a piece of the wreath. Ask the class if any of their responses were correct. How many pieces did each Fate receive? The students can write their answers on #7 of the handout (Each sister received one piece of the wreath). Ask your students how their solution with the string was similar to the Cyberchase kids' solution? How was it different? (Student answers will vary.)

What fraction of the whole did each sister receive? (1/3) Have the students write their answer on #8 on the worksheet. Check for accuracy. Allow students to write the correct answer on their handout. Have one of the students place the fraction the Cyberchase kids created with the wreath on the classroom wall (1/3).

Step 5

CUE the video until you see the Cyberchase kids standing on some rocks, and Inez says "That's persevering, Dig, not perspiring." Provide the students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to determine how they would solve the problem of feeding each dog an equal amount? PLAY the video. PAUSE when Inez says, "So how do we share two apples equally with three heads?"

Step 6

Ask one of your best artists to come up to the board and quickly sketch a three-headed dog. On the opposite side of the board, sketch two apples. Restate the problem. The kids must feed each head of the dog an equal amount of the two apples. How could the kids divide the two apples so that each head gets an equal amount? (Student answers will vary. There are a number of different ways to work out this challenge. Students should make predictions verbally of how they would solve the problem. Ask students to modify the drawings on the board to come up with a solution to the problem. Have the students write their favorite solution on question #9 on the worksheet.)

Step 7

Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking your students to determine whether or not their solution is the same solution the Cyberchase kids use. PLAY the video. PAUSE the video when the Cyberchase kids feed the dogs and Atlas states, "Aren't you forgetting something?" Was their solution the same as the solution in the show? Ask your students to write the solution in the second part of #9 on the handout.

Restate the solution presented in the show so that all students can write it down. (The kids can equally divide the apples by dividing each apple into three pieces and feed each dog two pieces). Have the students write the fraction of the whole group of apples each dog would eat. Ask another student volunteer to show the correct fraction on the wall with the construction paper numbers.

Step 8

Provide the students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to determine how the Cyberchase kids will equally divide the gold bars between the two goat boys. PLAY the video until the short Goat Boy states, "Each of these bars must be one eighth the whole bar." PAUSE the video so that you have a clear image of the four rows of gold bars.

Step 9

Ask for a student volunteer to come up to the TV and DRAW ON THE SCREEN (with a dry erase marker, of course) to show how the bars could be divided evenly among the two goat boys without breaking the bars. Give them a hint to consider the length of the bar as a method of division. Give a few students a chance to share their predictions on the television, showing that there is more than one solution to this problem.

Step 10

Restate the previous FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION. PLAY video until Digit the bird says, "Because 8/8 is the same as a whole." PAUSE the tape. Ask students if any of their solutions were used.

Instruct the students to quickly draw in the space marked #10 on their handout the amount of gold each Goat boy received after the division. Sketch on the board how many pieces of gold each Goat boy received in the episode.

Step 11

Provide the students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking students to determine if the Cyberchase kids completely answered the riddles. PLAY video until Digit the bird flies into Zeus' shield. STOP video. Ask the students if the Cyberchase kids answered all the riddles (Answer: Yes, the Cyberchase kids answered all the riddles).



Culminating Activity

Step 1

Introduce your students to the Web site http://pbskids.org/cyberchase/games/fractions/index.html and the character of Dr. Marbles. He will demonstrate to students how you can look at fractions in different ways. Provide the students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking students to complete the activity and try to find all thirteen combinations that make one half. Teachers may choose to complete the exercise with one monitor and computer to assist students in finding as many combinations as possible without rotating or flipping the picture.

Their goal is to click the mouse and fill in parts of a square to make new combinations that represents of the whole. If using one monitor, have different students come to the mouse and click on their idea of a new combination. Students may assist the student who is working at the computer. The game will record the number of combinations the class has successfully created. It also shows a picture of the triangles that have been filled in by previous students so that combinations are not repeated.

Give students ten minutes to see how many combinations they can find, either as a class or as individuals. How many combinations could they come up with? What strategies worked? What didn't? (Student answers will vary. Please note: It is very difficult to complete this activity. The important point is that it is FUN, and not that it has to be mastered.)

Step 2

If students complete Dr. Marble's thirteen combinations, you may direct the students to another fractions game entitled, "Vortex" at http://pbskids.org/cyberchase/games/timelapse/timelapse.html. Provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to click on the shape that matches the image on the right side of the screen. Students will need to pay attention to how each shape is divided into fractional portions in order to make a successful match.

"Vortex" is a speed game, so encourage the students to concentrate and click on the like shape as soon as they see it. For students with hand-eye coordination difficulties, assist them in finding the matching ball while the game is occurring. Often times, it may involve the teacher correctly positioning the student's hand on the mouse.

At the end of the exercise, ask the students their score. Ask students what today's lesson and fractions have to do with the "Vortex" exercise. (The shapes in the activity are divided into different shaded areas. Each shaded area is a fraction of the whole image. In order to match images, you sometimes had to count the fraction of the shape that was filled in, and not just look at the shape.)

This exercise should not be used as a graded activity but utilized merely to reinforce like fractions.


Cross-Curricilar Extensions

Art
Students can take their knowledge of fractions to create color various geometric areas. One great activity, available online at http://www.math.rice.edu/~lanius/Patterns/designs.html allows the user to create a geometric map with specific number of triangles with particular colors. This site provides multiple exercises to strengthen a student's ability utilize fractions to design art.

History/English
Using key terms and names mentioned in the video, "Zeus on the Loose," students can gain a greater understanding of Greek Mythology. Student may use the Web site at http://www.mythweb.com/gods/index.html.
to view pictures and read more about the different Greek Gods and Goddesses.

Students may also choose to read one of the following books and guides to assist them with the various mythological characters. The Internet site, http://www.magicaljourneys.com/TravelGuides/children.html, can also be of assistance for online research about Greek mythology.

A Gift From Zeus- Jeanne Steig
Frolicking across Olympus, ablaze with jealousy, passion, and wit, the ancient gods of Greece and Rome have always been fodder for storytellers. And at last, the incomparable creative teams of Jeanne and William Steig have stepped up to the task, retelling and illustrating 16 favorite myths with remarkable drollness and layer upon layer of nuance.

Mythology- Edith Hamilton
Edith Hamilton loved the ancient Western myths with a passion, and this classic compendium is her tribute. "The tales of Greek mythology do not throw any clear light upon what early mankind was like," Hamilton explains. "They do throw an abundance of light upon what early Greeks were like; a matter, it would seem, of more importance to us, who are their descendents intellectually, artistically, and politically.

D'Aulaire's Greek Book of Mythology- Edith Hamilton
No education is complete without a large slice of Greek mythology. And there's no better way of meeting that literary quota than with the D'Aulaires' book. All the great gods and goddesses of ancient Greece are depicted in this big, beautiful classic, lovingly illustrated and skillfully told. Young readers will be dazzled by mighty Zeus, lord of the universe; stirred by elegant Athena, goddess of wisdom; or intimidated by powerful Hera, queen of Olympus.

Gods and Goddesses of Olympus - Aliki
(Ages 4 - 8) Gr. 2-4, younger for reading aloud. This large-format book provides a quick, brightly illustrated introduction to the ancient Greek gods and goddesses.

Classical Kids: An Activity Guide To Life in Ancient Greece and Rome- Laurie Carlson
Travel back in time to see what life was like in ancient Greece and Rome while having fun with such hands-on activities as making a star gazer, chiseling a clay tablet, weaving Roman sandals, and making a Greek mosaic. 100+ line drawings.

Ancient Greece!: 40 Hand-On Activities To Experience This Wondrous Age- Avery Hart
This book whisks kids back in time over 2,000 years to spend a special day in Athens. Modern children follow a typical ancient Greek family through their day, and along the way they get to do all the things the Greeks did-from making clothes and jewelry to learning Greek letters to preparing a fabulous Greek feast.

Technology
Cyberspace is a term that has real meaning beyond the animated video series. Provide students with a list of words from the lesson episode including cyberspace, motherboard, digit, and hacker. Have students research the meaning of each term using Webopedia at http://www.webopedia.com, an online dictionary for computer and Internet terminology. Each Webopedia entry includes links to other related terms that students can add to their own personal glossary.


Community Connections
  • How much of your day is used for sleeping? Students can calculate out of twenty-four hours the fraction that is used for sleeping and for other day-to-day activities.

  • Order pizza for the students and have the pizza shop cut it into sixteen pieces instead of eight. Have the students decide how many pieces each person will receive based on the amount that is cut.