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Fraction Flowers (Investigation)



  • To visualize equivalent fractions.
  • To practice with the addition and subtraction of fractions.
  • To explore the addition of mixed numbers.


  • Paper plates
  • Scissors
  • Crayons or markers
  • Green construction paper


  1. Color in each plate with a different color.
  2. Divide each plate up into different numbers of equal pieces using a ruler/straightedge and a marker. For example, one plate may be cut into 8 equal parts and another plate might be cut into 4 equal pieces.
  3. Label each piece of the plate with the fraction of the plate it represents. For example, the pieces of the plate that was divided into 8 equal pieces would each be labeled with a \frac{1}{8}.  


  4. Cut along the lines created with the ruler/straightedge.
  5. Cut out stems for the flowers from a piece of construction paper (optional: cut out a long rectangle for grass and tape the stems to this rectangle) arrange the stems as shown below:



Use the pieces of plate to make flowers for each of the stems. One complete flower is a complete circle. How many ways can this be done? Try out as many as you can.

Here’s an example:


  1. Compare with friends! Did someone else come up with a petal combination you didn't use? Why do you think theirs works too?
  2. Can you think of any way to express each full flower combination as a sum of mixed numbers?
  3. What happens if you take away one petal from your flower? What fraction of the flower is left? Does this fraction change if you remove a different petal? Why?

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