Grade Levels: 3-5
In this fractions lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 2-5, students will use BrainPOP resources and an online math game to explore fractions and match and/or compare fractional amounts.
- Identify parts of a whole and their corresponding fractions.
- Match pictures of fractions to the correct fractional amount in online game play and in-class activities.
- Internet access for BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr.
- Computers for students to use independently or with partners
- Interactive whiteboard (or just an LCD projector)
Preparation:This game uses a free online math game developed by the Center for Game Science. Treefrog Treasure allows players to explore different worlds as a frog and learn fractions and numberline concepts. When certain obstacles are reached, a player must properly identify a target symbol, whole number, or fraction on a numberline to collect gems and complete the level. Hints are provided to help the player reach the correct answer when mistakes are made.
To prepare for this lesson, explore the BrainPOP and/or BrainPOP Jr. movie topics on fractions, and determine which ones are most appropriate for your students and learning objectives. Explore the Treefrog Treasure game and determine which level you would like your students to begin on. The first few levels do not involve fractions and provide time for students to acclimate to game play with basic math skills so that they can focus on the more advanced math skills later on. You may prefer to have students skip right to the higher levels.
- Play either the BrainPOP Fractions Movie or the BrainPOP Jr. Basic Parts of a Whole or More Fractions Movie, depending on your students' ability levels.
- Use the Picture Maker to review basic fractional amounts with students. Click on a background color at the bottom of the screen, and have student volunteers click on the objects to show the fractional amounts. To keep all students actively involved, you may want to have the rest of the class do the same thing at their seats using colored pencils and paper, or individual dry erase boards.
- Explain to students that they will have the chance to continue matching fractions to pictures of fractional amounts in a game called Treefrog Treasure. Instruct students to begin on the first level if you'd like them to have the opportunity to experiment with how the game works prior to having fractional amounts introduced in it, or you can have them begin on a higher level.
- Allow students to play the game independently or with a partner. Most students will not need instructions for game play and will be able to figure it out as they go. Draw students' attention to the hints that are provided if needed. You can also show students how to turn the music off (using the icon in the lower right portion of the screen) if they are distracted by it. The sound effects for the game will continue.
- After approximately ten minutes, have students pause the game and talk with one another (or with you via a whole-class discussion) about strategies. How can they tell the correct place to aim their frog? What happens if they aim too low or too high? Which math skills do they need to be proficient at in order to be successful? Provide additional concept reinforcement with other BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr. movies about fractions as needed.
- Provide another 10-20 minutes for students to finish game play. Any children who finish early can re-play their favorite levels. Many children may not be able to advance past all the levels, but encourage them to work as far as they can.
- Allow students to talk about the fractions they encountered during Treefrog Treasure and extend their learning. Have them draw pictures of some of the fractional amounts from the game, then switch papers with a partner and practice writing the corresponding fraction. Let students know they can continue playing Treefrog Treasure at home if they would like to try to advance through all the levels and beat the game!