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Invite your students to use their knowledge of fractions to create unique representations of the heart.
As a pre-holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day) activity, read the class a story about hearts, such as Patricia Polacco’s “Gifts of the Heart,” Michael Hall’s “My Heart is Like a Zoo,” or Mark Sperring’s “The Shape of My Heart.” Assess comprehension as the story progresses.
Organize students into groups of four. Have four colors of Crayola® Construction Paper cut into squares measuring 12 inches by 12 inches (30.48 cm by 30.48 cm), a different color for each member of the team. Provide each group with a variety of Crayola Crayons, Erasable Colored Pencils, Markers, Crayola Glue Sticks, and rulers.
Instruct student teams that construction paper squares are to be divided into fourths. Rulers are provided to measure the paper divisions equally. As these divisions are being made, ask students to discuss their processes in determining how to arrive at four equal sections.
When divisions are complete, ask each student to draw a heart on his piece of construction paper, making use of as much of the paper space as possible. Within their groups, students should discuss the geometric attributes present in a heart shape, such as arcs, angles, lines, etc.
Inform students that they are to create an original illustration on their papers. This may be something inspired by the picture book they have just experienced, or something personally motivated. Provide class time for students to design and color using materials provided.
With illustrations complete, ask students to cut their pieces of construction paper into fourths. Each student will keep only ¼ of his original design. He will share the other three pieces with his teammates. When sharing is complete, all members of the group will possess ¼ of each teammate’s drawing.
Provide all students with a 12 inch by 12 inch square of white construction paper. Using Crayola Glue Sticks, students will attach their collection of heart pieces. Fractional hearts are born!
If time in the school day allows, ask each group to share with classmates the inspiration behind their hearts. What kind of a heart story emerges from each brief presentation?
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