Monday, October 10, 2011

Fruit Fractions

Someone asked me once where I get the ideas for my son’s activities. I'm sure I sounded like Elmer Fudd answering them. Inspiration strikes me at the strangest places and times.

While shopping for bananas at the grocery store, I noticed the signage for their citrus fruits. It pictured the inside of a lemon all juicy and yellow. The sections inside the fruit reminded me of a circle cut into parts to demonstrate fractions. And so it began ...

Into the shopping cart went four fruits: lime, lemon, orange, and grapefruit. When I got home, I whipped up this little worksheet for my son to observe the fruit and write and draw fractions. (Download the worksheet I made here.)

When my son returned from school that day, he was VERY curious about what we were doing with these fruits, which I rarely buy. I cut the lime open and showed him how the fruit had wedges inside and asked him which fruit he thought would have the most. Then we started to count the lime’s wedges and complete the worksheet – one fruit at a time. I drew the lines on the circles to help him as he illustrated fractions like 1/9. While the lines I divided the circles into weren’t always equal-sized sections, during these early introductions to fractions, I didn’t mind.

This activity went exactly as planned. What surprised me, though, was how it evoked the senses. My son was curious about the feel of the fruit, the number of seeds, its color (our orange had a reddish-orange inside), and the smell.

When we finished I cut a slice of lemon and we enjoyed what my son called “grown-up water” with lemon.


  1. LOVE this!!! It's amazing what other teachable moments come up as you're teaching a specific lesson!

    3rd Grade Gridiron

  2. This is a really neat idea that engages both mind and senses. Thanks for sharing it!

  3. Neat! I hadn't thought about this one yet. And I think its cute you had "grown up water" afterwards. :)

  4. What a fun idea! I am starting a Linky Party if you want to link up at

  5. how fun! Learning fractions hands-on is a must & this is great! Thank you so much for linking to last week's Sunday Showcase! can't wait to see you share some more ideas on this week's linky - now open!


  6. Love this - can't wait to get fruity!!!!

  7. Love this idea! Will use it for my bulletin board this week :D