It's Field Day at camp. The 12 campers—a kookaburra, an emu, two platypuses, three koalas, four dingoes and Kangaroo—can't wait for the games to start. The group divides into halves, then thirds and finally fourths to make equal-sized teams (6, 4 and 3 each) for the big competitions. But it's each camper for himself in the long jump, which is Kangaroo's personal favorite.
Seeing the relationship between division and fractions is an important step in understanding fractions.
Illustrated by Kevin O'Malley.
Ask questions throughout the story such as: "How many teams are needed?" "When the group is split so that each team has the same number of campers, how many are on each team?" "What fraction of the total number of campers is that?"
Talk about fractions of groups. Give your child (or each student in your class) 12 bottle caps or buttons and pretend that each one is a "camper." Have them divide the campers into 2 equal teams and ask what fraction of the group each team is. Try this with 3 and 4 teams.
Divide 24 toothpicks into groups of 8 toothpicks each. How many groups are there? What fraction of the total is each group? What is 1/3 of 24? Use the same 24 toothpicks and try groups of 6 and 4.