Prior to beginning the lesson: (1) Photocopy the Problem of the Day onto transparency paper for the overhead projector; (2) Cut out and laminate Vocabulary Cards for display in the classroom; (3) Photocopy Candy Activity Sheet onto transparency paper for overhead projector; (4) Photocopy Candy Activity Sheet (1 per student).

Group Size: Whole class

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Identify Numerator and Denominator.

Problem of the Day (see attachment), Vocabulary Cards (see attachment), Candy Activity Sheet (see attachment), Skittles candy, overhead projector


Lesson Introduction: Display Problem of the Day on the overhead projector. Ask students: What strategy should we use to solve this problem? Guide them towards draw a picture. Solve the problem together as a class. Students can copy problem and solution into math notebooks.

  1. Write the number "1/2" on the board. Ask students: Do you remember how we read this?
  2. Tell students: Now we will take a closer look at the fraction one-half. The number on the top is called a numerator. Display vocabulary card numerator on the board. Tell students: The number on the bottom is called the denominator. Display vocabulary card denominator on the board.
  3. Explain to students: You can think of the line in the fraction as saying “out of”. So if you ate one-half of a pizza you ate one out of two pieces of the pizza. The numerator, one, is the number you had, and the denominator, two, is the number of pieces total.
  4. Tell students: Now let’s practice numerator and denominator. Display Candy Activity Sheet on the overhead projector and show students five different colored Skittles candies.
  5. Tell students: Let’s think about how we can make fractions out of the Skittles. How many red skittles do you see? Write “1” on the Candy Activity Sheet. Tell students: I want you to think of the line in the fraction (point) as “out of”. So that would mean I have one red skittle out of how many skittles? Call on a student to answer.
  6. Tell students: Remember, the number on the bottom of the fraction is the TOTAL number that you have. That is the denominator.
  7. Repeat the same question sequence for each color until the example sheet is competed on the overhead projector.
  8. Tell Students: Now you are each going to get your own Skittles and worksheet to complete. Distribute supplies and give students time to work independently.
Modifications: For students with special needs, allow extra time to answer questions and provide one-on-one assistance when necessary.


Teacher should monitor student participation and independent work to ensure all students are understanding the concept.

Benchmark or Standards:

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Number and Operations Standard:

  • Develop a sense of whole numbers and represent and use them in flexible ways, including relating, composing, and decomposing numbers.
  • Understand and represent commonly used fractions, such as 1/4, 1/3, and 1/2.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Process Standard:

  • Communicate their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others.
Attached Files:


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