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I'll Halve S'more Please!!

By Cindy Jackson
OverviewProcedure for teachersStudent Resources and Materials
Grade Level
 3-5
Time Alloment
 45 Minutes

Overview

The Cyberchase kids attempt to solve riddles using fractions in the episode called "Zeus on the Loose." Cyberchase is a daily, animated adventure TV series on PBS Kids that engages 8- to 11-year-olds in the fun and challenge of mathematics. The series is ideal for all levels of math students because they are fun to watch and they stress the importance of using math in everyday life. This particular episode gives the heroes a chance to redeem themselves in the eyes of Zeus by answering several riddles using fractions.

The lesson also employs several interactive Web sites to allow students to practice their skills in identifying the parts of a fraction, reducing fractions, and adding fractions with common denominators. Using fractions in the Cyberchase episode and in the Web sites will strengthen students' ability to manipulate fractions with ease.


Learning Activities

Students will be able to:
  • Describe a fraction in terms of sharing parts of a whole;
  • Understand the meaning of the parts of a fraction (numerator and denominator);
  • Add and subtract like fractions;
  • Apply fractions to problem situations;
  • Recognize and use equivalent fractions and represent them geometrically.

Standards

From the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards, available online at: http://standards.nctm.org/document/chapter5/index.htm

Number and Operations Focus Areas for Grades 3- 5: Mathematics instructional programs should foster the development of number and operation sense so that all students:
  • Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers,and number systems;
  • Use computational tools and strategies fluently and estimate appropriately.

Media Components

Video:

Cyberchase #106: Zeus on the Loose

Web sites:

Meet the Cyberchase Kids
http://pbskids.org/cyberchase/meet.html
Students have an opportunity to learn about the primary characters appearing in Cyberchase.

Thirteen Ways To Look At A Half
http://pbskids.org/cyberchase/games/fractions/fractions_intro3.html
This is an interactive Web activity, where the user must identify how one-half can be represented by forming thirteen different geometric patterns.

Vortex
http://pbskids.org/cyberchase/games/timelapse/timelapse.html
This is an interactive Web activity, where the user must match images that have been divided into fractional sections as rapidly as possible.


Materials

Per Class:
  • Large numbers cut out of construction paper (numbers 1-8); about 12 inches high
  • A sturdy piece of construction paper (approximately 12 inches long and 3 inches wide). This piece will serve as the bar between the numerator and denominator.
  • Adhesive spray glue (the type that one sprays on the wall whereby objects stick)
  • Four assembled s'mores (A s'more consists of a flat Hershey's chocolate bar and two large marshmallows melted on two graham crackers. One can eat an unmelted s'more for this exercise if a microwave is not readily available.)
  • Knife - only the teacher should use the sharp knife during the activity.
Per student or pair of students (cover the materials and place out of reach of the students during the initial portion of the Introductory Activity):
  • 1 chocolate bar
  • 2 graham crackers
  • 3 large marshmallows
  • Paper towels
  • Stiff paper plates
  • Paper towels
  • A foot-long piece of yarn or string
  • "Zeus On The Loose" Handout (see attached)