Fractions As Parts of a Whole: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Fractions as Parts of a Whole
  • 0:54 Numbers in a Fraction
  • 1:54 Equivalent Fractions
  • 2:22 Flip Your Thinking
  • 2:52 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Fractions are found everywhere in daily life, not just math class. In this lesson, learn how a fraction is a part of a whole, how you write a fraction, and how fractions can be equivalent to one another.

Fractions as Parts of a Whole

When cutting a pizza, you try to slice it into equal parts so everyone gets a fair share, right? Did you know that when you do this, you are creating fractions? A fraction is an equal part of a whole object or an equal part of a set of objects.

You can find fractions everywhere. For example, fractions are often created when dividing food into equal shares, like cutting slices of a birthday cake. Fractions can be created by dividing geometric shapes into equal parts, as well. Think of a window that is divided by panes.

You can also make fractions out of a whole set or group of objects. If you have ten pieces of candy and you eat four of those pieces, you've eaten a part or fraction of the whole set of objects. These types of fractions represent smaller amounts of the overall number of pieces in the whole set.

Let's learn more about fractions, how to write them, and how they work.

Numbers in a Fraction

Fractions have two numbers with a line separating them, which creates a top number and a bottom number. The top number is called the numerator. This number stands for the parts out of the whole or the set. The bottom number is called the denominator. An easy way to remember this: the denominator is down, and denominator begins with the letter 'd'. This number represents all of the pieces or parts of the whole or set.

Let's go back to the pizza example. If a whole pizza is cut into four equal slices and you eat one of those slices, then you have eaten one out of four slices. That's one way that you can describe the fraction, but you can also describe it using numbers. The numerator would be one because you've eaten only one piece. There were four equal parts, so the denominator for this fraction would be four. So, using numbers, you ate 1/4 of the pizza.

Now, let's look at the fraction for our candy example. You ate four out of the ten total pieces of candy. The whole is the ten pieces while the part is the four pieces that you ate. So, you ate 4/10 of the candy.

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