Lesson 7

Make Halves, Thirds, and Fourths

Lesson Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is for students to recognize halves, thirds, and fourths, understanding that these terms describe equal pieces of the same whole.

Lesson Narrative

In grade 1, students learned that when a shape is partitioned into 2 equal pieces, the pieces are called halves. They learned that when a shape is partitioned into 4 equal pieces, each piece is called a fourth or a quarter.

In this lesson, students learn that when a shape is partitioned into 3 equal pieces, the pieces are called thirds. They partition shapes into halves, thirds, and fourths. Fourths and quarters should be used interchangeably when discussing 4 equal pieces, so that students are comfortable with both terms.

  • Engagement
  • MLR8

Activity 2: That’s Not It

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Partition circles and rectangles into halves, thirds, and fourths, and describe the pieces.

Student Facing

  • Let’s make halves, thirds, and fourths or quarters.

Required Materials

Materials to Gather

Required Preparation

Activity 1:

  • Each student needs 3 identical paper rectangles.
  • Students could use 3 sheets of construction paper as their 3 rectangles. To save paper, construction paper could also be pre-cut into equal-size rectangles.

CCSS Standards


Lesson Timeline

Warm-up 10 min
Activity 1 20 min
Activity 2 15 min
Lesson Synthesis 10 min
Cool-down 5 min

Teacher Reflection Questions

In grade 2, students used halves, fourths, and quarters to describe equal pieces of a shape. How did you see students use this vocabulary in today’s lesson? What support can you offer to students to help them use math vocabulary to describe equal pieces of a shape.

Suggested Centers

  • How Are They the Same? (1–5), Stage 2: Grade 2 Shapes (Addressing)
  • Which One? (K–5), Stage 3: Grade 2 Shapes (Addressing)

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