Fraction Worm

Recommended Age: 5+ | Mathematical Topic: Measurement & Fractions

Blank paper, a dark (blue or black) marker, and 2-3 crayons or colored pencils.

What To Do

Using a dark marker, start by drawing a basic picture of a worm across the width of the paper (the easiest way to do this is to imagine tracing the outline of a hotdog or by drawing a bubble letter S with rounded ends.). Next, using the marker again, draw approximately equal size segments along the length of the worm (you can draw any amount of segments you like, but we recommend 5-8 to start). With the worm drawn, ask your child to use the different color crayons or colored pencils to shade in the segments. Explain that they may use the same color on more than one segment, and encourage them to shade at least one segment with each of the 2-3 colors they have. Once they have finished coloring the worm, write out the following statement at the bottom of the sheet for each color they used:

“ X out of X parts are (color name here)”.

Work with your child to count the total number of parts in the worm and place this number in the second space for each statement. Next, have your child count the number of segments they shaded with each color and place this number in the first space for the appropriate color. Finally, re-read the statement with the complete information pointing to the filled-in blanks as you speak.

What To Know

This activity is a great way to bring mathematics into crafts. By exploring the relationship between parts and wholes you can help your child begin to think about proportions and fractions. Because the activity involves exploring multiple part-whole relationships, it also lays the foundation for understanding that fractions can have different sizes and be compared.

Moving On

Move on when your child is comfortable talking about part-whole relationships in this activity. You can increase the difficulty of this project by adding more segments to the worm and/or increasing the number of crayons or colored pencils your child has to use when shading. For example, you could draw a worm with twenty segments and give your child 6 crayons or colored pencils.