## Thursday, April 26, 2012

### Top 10 books that teach fractions to kids

Since we’ve been studying fractions lately, I wanted to share my top 10 favorite books to teach fraction to kids.  If you’ve missed the other posts, check out the posts here, here, and here.

Most of these books are beginner level books, simply introducing the concept and terminology.  However, there are a few at the end that are really great, and begin to introduce equivalent fractions and even discuss the numerator and denominator.

Eating Fractions by Bruce McMillan

I LOVE this simple book, especially for initially introducing fractions!  It is the story of 2 boys (and their dog) as they divide several food items from one whole into halves, thirds, and fourths.  There are few words in this book, which makes it ideal in discussing how each item was divided.  Besides showing the item as a whole, and then divided into the parts as a photograph, each page also includes a simple drawing of the item with it’s fractional equivalence.  (ie 1/3 of the item is labeled 1/3 in the illustration).  Simple. Realistic pictures. Perfect opportunity for dialog with your child to illustrate fractions!

Mighty Math:  Fractions by Sara Pistoia

One of the best ways to teach fractions is by using food!  This one shows pictures of food being divided, and it is actually the first one I’ve seen that addresses that the parts must be equal.  It covers 1/2, 1/3, and 1/4; however this one does a great job of showing them in real-life context… bakers use fractions when measuring ingredients, stoplights can be represented by fractions, and sharing among friends involves dividing items equally.  Short and simple; good for a quick review and/or introduction to fractions.

If you were a fraction by Trista Speed Saskan

What would your life would be like if you were a fraction?  Each page begins with answering this question with a fact about fractions.  For instance, on page 8, it says, “If you were a fraction, you could be divided into three equal parts.  You would be thirds.”  It then describes in words what thirds are and how it relates to the cartoon characters on the page.  The end includes a hands-on pizza activity that you can do at home.

Fraction Action by Loreen Leedy

This book is a comical fiction book that follows a class of animal characters as they study fractions.  many double page spreads consists of one page showing the class dialoging what a particular fraction looks like (very similar to the Magic School Bus books) and the other page demonstrates different images of what this fraction looks like.  Towards the end of the book, it does introduce equivalent fractions as well.

My Half Day by Doris Fisher

From the award-winning author Doris Fisher, My Half Day is sure to please all of the boys!  It chronicles the life of a boy as everything happens to him in fractions.  He awakens to find that half his head is shaved.  He plays soccer that afternoon, only to learn that each goal is worth five-eighths.  This quirky book will have your little ones (and you) amused as you read this story!  Plus, the end of the book includes a great section of supplemental activities!

Full House, an Invitation to Fractions by Dayle Ann Dodds

This is a cute rhyming story about the a house that is filling up with guests.  The rooms in the house represents the denominator (without specifically stating so), and as each guest occupies a room, the child will see how the numerator changes.  Delightful, and definitely a book that the kids will ask for over and over!

The Wishing Club, A Story about Fractions by Donna Jo Napoli

One evening, four friends make wishes, only to discover that only parts of their wishes are coming true.  One wishes for dollars but only receives a quarter.  Another wants cookies, but only receives half of one.  They all want to wish for a pet, but must figure out the connection (fractions!) in order to receive a whole one!  Beautifully illustrated with watercolors, and a delightful storyline.

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar Fractions Book by Jerry Pallotta

If there ever was a classic “teaching” book about fractions, this would be it!  What better way to learn about fractions than by eating chocolate.  It discusses topics such as illustrating parts of a whole, adding fractions, finding equivalent fractions, and even dealing with mixed fractions.  This books is no longer in print, but Jerry Pallotta has come out with similar book that is *almost* just as good --Apple Fractions – if not for the chocolate factor!

Working with Fractions by David Adler

This book explains to the older elementary child what fractions are and how they relate to life other than by dividing foods.  It illustrates that fractions can be used in any part of life.  It begins with explaining fractional parts, and ends with the child understanding how to add, subtract, and multiply fractions.

Discovering Math: Fractions by David Stienecker

This book is for the advanced child, who likes puzzles or explorations of topics. It is NOT an instructional book! Rather, it divides into activities and games that stimulate discussions about fractions. It includes problems that deal with looking at flags to determine what percentage of a flag is a specific color (some not too obvious, such as the blue in the letter D in the International code of signals is 1/2, even though it looks like it might be 1/3) Other games including dividing shapes into specified number of parts, Fraction War card game, fraction magic squares, tangrams, and other assorted puzzles that can be challenging while also supplementing instruction. Many of these can be turned into hands-on learning experiences!

Do you have a favorite book that teaches a math concept?

Photo credits to all images above:  Amazon

Note:  Most books above are linked to my Amazon store.   If you are interested in any of them, I’d love for you to support our small homeschooling family – a VERY small percentage of the sales comes back to us to help us purchase educational materials.

Ness @ One Perfect Day said...

I just began introducing the concept of fractions to my son this week. These books will be a great help. Thank you for compiling this list.

Sandra said...

Woohoo! I simply LOVE this post! It is so useful - thank you Leann!

Leann Warren said...

Glad you like it! I did a lot of research in prepping for this... plus, I wanted to make sure I listed books that my son loved, not just any book on fractions!

Leann Warren said...

Welcome!

Andrea @ No Doubt Learning said...

Great book list! We have the fractions book and love it! :)