5 Fraction Read Alouds for Upper Elementary
Do you spend time in your classroom connecting math and literacy? This is something I am very passionate about and use it often in my classroom! It is important that students see the connection between the two, because that is how they will see it in the real world. I have a full blog post, Connecting Literacy and Math, I wrote on connecting them if you would like more details on this concept.
This Fraction Read Aloud post talks all about my five favorite books for teaching fractions. Each book below I have used in my upper elementary fractions unit; however, I have not always used them the same way. I have used them in my math mini lessons, math small groups, guided reading groups, and even filler time before lunch. Pulling in these math focused read-alouds at different times of the day allows students to make that connection outside of math class.
This book, Fraction Fun by David Adler, is one of my favorites for introducing fractions. David Adler does an amazing job with multiple real world connections and activities students can use at the start of the unit. I wrote a full blog post, Fraction Fun Read Aloud, to share with you how I use it in my mini lessons, small groups, and math centers. I also created a FREEBIE Fraction Fun Book Companion for you to use with your students in your own classroom. I highly suggest this book for a week long study, at the start of your fractions unit. Some real world examples it discusses is sharing pizza, books, money, and snacks.
A Fraction's Goal - Parts of a Whole By Brian P. Cleary is the perfect addition to any mini lesson because it is short and sweet. Again, my love for real world connections is shown here. This book uses fraction situations, such pizza and recipes. This book, unlike the other four listed, shows fractions in a variety of ways. Fractions are not only modeled, but the word form and standard forms of the fractions are also shown. Lastly, it mentions equivalent fractions, such as a whole is 3/3 and 2/4 is the same as 1/2. This is a more complex standard that isn't always shown in picture books. Therefore, I think this book is perfect for tying it in!
This book, Full House - An Invitation to Fractions, is so much fun! It is all about Miss Bloom, who runs a local inn. She begins using fractions when the inn starts to fill up with guests. For example, she discusses the inn having six rooms, therefore when one guest rents a room, 1/6 of the inn is booked. This is a very simple book that is more like a story rather than just focused on the fractions. I use this book when we have down time - when we finish early, before lunch, or during dismissal. I have used this book many times and it isn't always during our fractions unit, but any time during the school year to continue drawing in those real world fraction connections.
The Lion's Share is a longer picture book that I read over a few days during our fractions unit. The animals in the story are having a dinner party and need to split the cake into even portions. The characters cut it in half, and then halving the half, and halving that half, and so on until all members of the dinner party have cake. I love that the book shows pictures and matches the animals from the biggest animals to the smallest animals with matching slice size. As we read the book, we discuss how big the piece is and if it is truly half of the whole cake, rather than just the half of the piece that was left. This is also the perfect time to discuss that in order to truly have equivalent fractions (or to compare fractions), we must compare them to the same size whole.
A simple and fun read aloud I suggest is Whole-y Cow Fractions are Fun!. Once fractions are discussed, this book can be read. I suggest using this for third grade and beyond. Different events are happening with the cow throughout the day on the farm. Each page set has pictures and asks what fraction of something is a color. For example, what fraction of the cow is blue? What fraction of the cow is white? I love this because it is easy to see what is going on and to count the colors to discuss numerators and denominators. This book also opens the discussion up for fractions of a whole and fractions of a whole set, which is the only book of my favorite five that includes this concept.