Math Access for Teachers and Home Child Care Providers

Apples and Oranges

Children will begin to develop an understanding of separating a set into a maximum of four parts.

Content Area Standard Target
• Numbers and Operations
• Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems
• Understand meanings of operations and how they relate to one another
• Understand and represent commonly used fractions, such as 1/4, 1/3, and 1/4.
• Understand situations that entail multiplication and division, such as equal groupings of objects and sharing equally
Obtain the Materials

• A table with no chairs underneath
• A set of 4 child-sized chairs stacked next to the table
• Apples
• Oranges
• Small paper plates
• Knife for adult to cut apples & oranges
• Apple corer

Note: Small parts create a choking hazard for children. Make sure that all materials you choose to use for an activity or lesson with children meet safety requirements. Small parts are not appropriate for children who are 5 years of age or younger.

Introduce the Activity

1. Before the lesson, stack 4 chairs and place them next to the table where you will be cutting the fruit and teaching the lesson.
2. Invite a small group of children (no more than 4) to sit with you at the table. You should be sitting at the table. When the children come to the table, they will notice that they don’t have anywhere to sit.  Invite them to observe, Say: “It looks like you don’t have any chairs to sit in.  What should we do to solve this problem?”
3. Validate  their responses, Say: “Great idea! We have chairs right here. Can you help me unstack this set of chairs, so that everyone gets a chair?” As you give a chair to each child, point out: “We have 1 chair, 2 chairs, 3 chairs, 4 chairs. We have 1 set of chairs with four chairs in the set. Does everyone have a chair?”  “Yes!”  “Good, now everyone has a part of the set of chairs that has 4 chairs in it.”

Engage the Children

1. Explain to the children that you have some fruit, apples and oranges that you would like to share with them. Pass out a paper plate to each child.
2. Take an apple and place it on your cutting plate or board where everyone can see it. Cut the apple into 4 equal parts.  “Look, I have one set of apple slices.  How can we separate the set of apple slices, so that everyone gets a part of the apple?”  “Each child should get an apple slice.”
3. Validate the children’s response by acting out the answer. Say: “Okay. Let’s see if that works. I can give part of the apple to you (child #1), a part of the apple to you, (child #2) a part of the apple to you, (child #3) and a part of the apple for you. (child #4)  We just separated the one set of apple slices into 4 parts. Ask: Does everyone have a part of the apple?”  “Yes!”  “Good. Now everyone has a part of the one set of apple slices.”
4. Take the orange and place it on a large paper plate or a cutting board. Place it in a place where everyone can see it.  Cut the orange into 4 equal parts. Say: “Now I have one set of orange slices. Ask: How can we separate the set of orange slices, so that everyone gets a part of the orange?” A child will most likely say that you can give an orange slice to each child.
5. Again, validate the children’s response by acting out the answer. Say: “Okay. Let’s see if that works. I can give part of the orange to you, (child #1), a part of the orange to you, (child #2) a part of the orange to you, (child #3) and a part of the orange for you. (child #4)  We just separated the set of orange slices into 4 parts. Does everyone have a part of the orange?”  “Yes!”  “Good. Now everyone has a part of the set of orange slices.” Emphasize the words SET and PART OF A SET.

• While keeping the same group of 4 children, cut the apple and the orange into 8 slices and ask, “I have one set of apple slices and one set of orange slices. Ask: "How many are in each set?”  The children will count and respond, “8”  Say: “Good. Now if everyone is to receive an equal (the same) amount of the apple slices and the orange slices, how many slices would each of the 4 children get?”  If the children have trouble answering this question, act out the passing of the slices in the same way that you acted out the passing out of the slices in the activity.
• Use language related to separating sets into parts throughout the day as the opportunity presents itself. For example, on the playground, you can bring out enough balls for the children to play with and then say, "I have a set of balls for you to play with. But I want to divide this set up so that you each get an equal part of the set. ASK: “How can we separate the set of balls, so that everyone can get a ball?”

Encourage Vocabulary

• Set – A collection of items
• Equal – To be the same in number or amount

Glossary of MATH vocabulary

Supporting Children at Different Levels

Toddlers   Pre-K

Toddlers may:

• Have difficulty understanding the correlation between sets and the individual parts.

Pre-K Children may:

• Easily grasp the correlation between sets and the individual parts.

Home child care providers may:

• Use verbal, visual, and physical cues to help children know what to do.  Be overly dramatic when passing out the cut apples and oranges.  Use other examples of sets and each child getting a piece of the set.

Home child care providers may:

• While keeping the same group of 4 children, cut the apple and the orange into 8 slices and ask, “I have a set of apple slices and orange slices.  How many are in each set?”  The children will count and respond, “8”  “Good.  Now if everyone is to receive an equal amount of the apple slices and the orange slices, how many slices would each of the 4 children get?”  If the children have trouble answering this question, act out the passing of the slices in the same way that you acted out the passing out of the slices in the activity.
• Use language related to separating sets into parts throughout the day as the opportunity presents itself.  For example, on the playground, you can bring out enough balls for the children to play with and then ask, “How can we separate the set of balls, so that everyone can get a ball?”

Books

• Each Orange Had 8 Slices. A Counting Book by Paul Giganti (New York: Greenwillow Books, 1999)
• The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins (New York: Greenwillow Books, 1989)

Music and Movement

Outdoor Connections

• Conduct a Scavenger Hunt of sorts.  Pose the question, “We have 10 students in our class.  How many rocks will we need to collect so that each child has a rock?”  Send the children off to collect a set of 10 rocks and then have them pass out the rocks to each of the students.  This can be done with any item.  This is also a wonderful fall leaf collection activity.

• Similarly, before going out to the yard or outside, pose the question, “How many toys will we need to bring outside so that each child has a toy to play with?”  Have the children collect the set of toys and pass them out to the children.

Web Resources

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