I’m continuing my series today on teaching and exploring math with children’s literature. I’ve had so much fun collecting and reading a variety of books, and I hope this gives you some great ideas for exploring important math concepts with your kids. Today I want to focus on books to teach fractions, because obviously there is a wonderful connection between division and fractions. In fact, many of the books I included in the book list for division could be used to explore fractions.
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Exploring Fractions with Kids:
As you begin to introduce young kids to fractions, it’s good to start with lots of real life, practical examples, as you’ll see in many of the books below. Kids are familiar with the concept of sharing and making equal groups (especially if they have lots of siblings, like my kids! 🙂 ) so that’s a natural way to begin.
By reading some of these stories, hopefully you will spark conversations that get your kids excited to try to create their own fractions.
Again, here are the ways I’ve categorized the following books, to help you make the right choices for teaching fractions:
- Tier one books are written specifically to teach a math concept. They may or may not have a story line.
- Tier two books have an engaging plot and weave math into the story. While the connection to math is fairly obvious, the story could stand on it’s own.
- Tier three books are books that are not necessarily written to focus on a specific math skill, but could easily be used to make connections to math.
In addition, some of the books make great early introductions for young kids (first or second grade), while others go much more in depth and begin to explain operations with fractions.
I hope this list helps you find what you’re looking for!
The Best Books to Teach Fractions to Kids:
The Half-Birthday Party (tier 3) by Charlotte Pomerantz is an adorable story that would make such a fun introduction to the concept of half. You could even have kids come up with their own “half a present” and write a story about it to combine math, reading and writing!
Go, Fractions! (tier 2) by Judith Stamper is an early reader that would be great for slightly older kids. It’s about a soccer team and the ways they use fractions to practice and play. It includes lots of vocabulary and helpful explanations of fractions.
The Wishing Club (tier 2) by Donna Jo Napoli is probably my favorite of the books I’ve read so far. The illustrations are gorgeous, and the story is just adorable. In this fraction tale, kids will learn about 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 and adding fractions.
Jump, Kangaroo, Jump! (tier 2) by Stuart Murphy is a fun story about an animal field day. This shows how to divide groups into equal parts and that each part is a fraction of the whole. It teaches the fractions 1/2, 1/3 and 1/4. There are also other ideas for exploring fractions at the end of the book.
The Lion’s Share (tier 2) by Matthew McElligott is another really cute tale that shows the concept of a half, and what happens when you continue to half something (half of a half, and so on). Plus, this book teaches an important character lesson!
Pigs in the Pantry (tier 2) by Amy Axelrod explores math involved in cooking. Not everything in this story teaches fractions, but I wanted to include it because when you’re cooking, many measurements will involve fractions. Especially if you’re trying to half a recipe.
Apple Fractions (tier 1) by Jerry Pallotta teaches many different fractions, as well as adding fractions. I was pleasantly surprised by this book because I was expecting it to be simply pictures of apple slices and their fraction. It teaches, however, all kinds of fun facts about apples and the ways apples are grown and used. This would be perfect if you’re working on fractions in the Fall!
Fraction Fun (tier 1) by David Adler is not a story, but teaches many concepts related to fractions in a fun way. It shows fractions in real life, comparing fractions, and lots of vocabulary like numerator and denominator. In addition, there are hands-on ideas that you can do together with your kids (or simply look at the pictures in the book).
Piece=Part=Portion (tier 1) by Scott Gifford uses real life photographs to model fractions, and gives the fraction represented, as well as the decimal and percent equivalent. I think this book is helpful because kids often have such a hard time understanding why the decimal representation of a fraction looks so different.
And the following are books that look great, and several are by authors I love, but I was unable to find them at my library. You may have better luck though, so I encourage you to check these out as well!
Give Me Half by Stuart Murphy is another book in the Math Start series. The focus of this book is on understanding 1/2.
Full House by Dayle Ann Dodds explores fractions as guests show up to stay at her house.
Fractions in Disguise by Edward Einhorn helps kids see and understand equivalent fractions.
Whole-y Cow! by Taryn Souders shows fractions as kids paint a cow (then asks questions such as “What fraction of the cow is painted red?”).
My Half Day by Doris Fisher looks like a fun book on fractions with illustrations that kids will love!
Inchworm and a Half by Elinor Pinczes teaches measurement and fractions.
A Fraction’s Goal-Parts of a Whole by Brian Cleary is more like a textbook than a story (there’s no plot), but teaches fractions in a fun way with cute rhymes.
And finally, Fraction Action by Loreen Leedy is another book on fractions that doesn’t have a plot, but is a fun and engaging way to introduce several fraction concepts.
I hope this gives you a great list of ideas for books to teach and explore fractions with your kids!
What book would you add to this list? Share in the comments!
Looking for more fraction fun? Check out these FREE resources!
Free Printable Book Lists!
Did you find this list helpful? Then you'll love the handy printable version I've made! Just print out the book list, take it to the library, and check them off as you read them. Plus, this set includes 2 pages of books not included in my blog series! That's 8 lists of engaging math stories in all.
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