I love integrating arts into other curricular areas. I really believe that using art, music and movement increases student engagement and understanding. So I was excited to incorporate some art into our fractions study.
It was really quite simple. I began with some packages of colored papers that had been pre-cut into shapes. You could buy origami paper or use dye cuts as well. I recommend using only basic shapes though.
I then gave each child a large piece of white paper. I told them that they could create any sort of design that they wanted. However, I wanted them to cut the papers first. I modeled how to fold the paper in half and cut along the fold line, and also how to fold and cut it into fourths. You could, of course, extend this activity into any fractions that you like. Since our goals are to master halves and fourths we worked with those.
I encouraged the kids to use as many colors as they liked. Some explored symmetry, some tried to make designs that looked like something in particular, and others just played with shape and color.
After creating the design, the last step was to label the pieces. I asked the children to go back over their art work and label each piece with the fraction of the original paper that it represented. This was challenging for some and simple for others, but they all understood it quickly with a little modeling. And they loved having a piece of art to show off their learning!