Cooking with Fractions

By Susan LoFranco on Apr 24, 2017

Student will add and subtract fractions with like denominators and minuends less than or equal to 1  

Student will solve real life problems using daily living tools


Measuring cups in 1 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 2/3 cup sizes.  Medium sized bowl. Dry matter to measure such as sand, flour, rice or sugar. 


This lesson will use common kitchen measuring tools to reinforce the concept of subtracting fractions from a whole.  The student will need to have a foundation in adding and subtracting fractions. 


  • Review vocabulary related to fractions - numerator, denominator, and the vocabulary related to sutraction - minuend, subtrahend. Teacher can go over a problem by discussing how many halves, quarters and thirds are in a whole.  Use the measuring tools to help student discover how this works in practice. 
  • With student subtract 2/3 from 1.  Together, using the measuring cups discover how 1 = 3/3. Using the 1/3 measure cup fill the 1 cup measure to discover  into the 1 cup measure how many 1/3 cups required.  Have the student remove 2/3 to discover that 1/3 remains.  Have the student repeat the process. The answer to the problem 1 - 2/3 = 1/3.  
  • Practice this two more times ; Ask the student to subtract 1/3 from 1 (answer 2/3).  Have the student explain how they solved the problem. Next have the student subtract 2/4 from 6/4 (answer 4/4 = 1).  
  • Once the student is confident, to reinforce the the lesson the student should complete the word problems using the media of student's choice to record his/her answers. The student should use the measuring  cups to aid in finding the solution if required. 

Word Problems:

  • Maria is making cookies that require 4/3 cups of flour.  She has 1 2/3 cups of flour.  How much sugar will she have left after making the  cookies?
  • Jessica baked an apple pie and cut it into 8 wedges.  She and her two friends ate 3 slices.  What fraction of the pie remains? 
  • Julie and Ellen each has a snack.  Julie has 1 cup of raisins and Ellend has 1/3 cup of peanuts.  What fraction more of a snack does Julie have?  

Cooking with fractions - measuring cups


As an extension of the lesson the teacher could use a favorite recipe of the students and work with the student to adjust amounts in the recipe.  If time and space permitted teacher and student could make the recipe.

Also, the lesson can be adapted to reflect a greater degree of challenge depending on the students ability.  

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