When a fraction changes into another, equivalent fraction, it’s almost as if the fraction has donned a disguise. As I was thinking about this, I realized that this presents a fantastic opportunity to include writing in math.
Students will write a story about how one fraction has to disguise itself to fit in with a group of unlike fractions.
Perhaps 1/2 wants to:
- fit in with some cool 16ths at Fraction High School
- study the mysterious 10ths in their wild, jungle habitat
- go undercover and spy on the Evil Eighths
Now we can write a story about how 1/2 would disguise itself. Perhaps it has an 8/8 machine it can use to transform into 8/16ths? What will happen at Fraction High, now that 1/2 is dressed as a 16th?
Why I love this. Once a kid can calculate equivalent fractions, there’s no reason for them to just keep practicing it. They’ve got it! Instead, we want to push them up Bloom’s Taxonomy; move them onto something that will get their brain moving in new ways; surprise them with an unexpected way of thinking.
Have six kids do this and you’ll get six totally different ideas. You’ll get actually interesting thinking. Sure you could make it a simple paragraph, but I bet you’ll have students ask if they could make a skit, a children’s book, or a green-screened video.