Sunday, April 28, 2013

F is for Fabulous Fraction Kite Designs

I came across a fraction kite activity last year and bookmarked it until Alyssa would be ready to tackle the math concept. I was inspired by the class activity found on the blog called Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge. She offers the kite and cloud template for free on her website. April is almost over and spring is in the air so I felt it would be appropriate and fun to create a kite. Alyssa has a pretty good understanding of fractions now. I couldn't wait to show her the activity this week.

What We Did
We used a combination of resources listed below. Let me first explain the project. Since Alyssa is much younger (age 5), I always try to use some sort of math manipulative to make learning more hands-on and concrete. This activity helped her visualize the fractions better. First, I gave her one-inch color tiles to create a kite design on a 5 by 5 square template using the colors of her choice. We discussed the area and perimeter of the kite before moving on to the next part of the activity. Younger children can practice counting the total number of tiles in all or they can count the number of tiles for each color. When solving for the perimeter and area, she showed her work and wrote her answers on a mini whiteboard. Instead of counting all the tiles to find the area, she created a multiplication equation to solve the problem (5x5=25). Your child can skip count by 5 to figure out the answer if necessary. She wrote the equation 5+5+5+5=20 to find the perimeter. We did not include the tiled kite string when solving for the perimeter and area. It was actually temporarily removed before any math work was done.

Then, she lifted each tile to place a colored slash underneath the tile as a reminder of the colors utilized in her design.

She quickly colored the kite design with crayons.

Next, we discussed the fractional parts for each color. She listed the fractional parts with the name of each color on a cloud template. Alyssa may add cotton balls to the cloud but she is still thinking about it.

Alyssa also wrote a sentence including the fractional parts on writing paper. We used the kite writing page from Crazy for First Grade to write about her kite design. 

My daughter cut and pasted all parts onto a large piece of 12" X 18" manila paper. She carefully arranged the picture before gluing. I wish we had white paper, because her sun and flower drawings would show up better. She illustrated a background or scenery as seen at Step Into Second Grade. We glued down a piece of black yarn as the kite string. I helped her with this part of the project. After using a thin paintbrush to apply glue, she dabbed the excess glue off with a paper towel. The bow template from DLTK was used to complete her design. 

During the rest of the week, she explored other math manipulatives including tangrams, centimeter cubes, pattern blocks, unifix cubes, and attribute shapes. She created several kite designs with each manipulative. We also discussed and wrote fractional parts for each shape on a mini white board. You can find a pattern block kite template and other preschool kite activities for your little ones at Confessions of a Homeschooler if interested.

Check out Alyssa's finished kite project! She must have enjoyed the activity, because as soon as her father walked through the door . . . she dragged him downstairs to show and explain her work to him.

Fraction Kite Resources
Here are a few bloggers that completed the same fraction kite activity. Several bloggers presented variations for the activity. Take a look at a few of the blogs listed below.
Crazy for First Grade (Fraction Kite Writing Page)
Step Into Second Grade with Mrs. Lemons (Kite Drawings)
Me and My Third Grade Gang (Equivalent Fractions)
Motherhood on a Dime (Four Triangles)
Where Learning is Fun (Variety of Skills)
The Pinterest Diaries - Wrote fractions for each color on bows.
Adventures in Third Grade

Kite and Bow Templates
Adventures of First Grade
All Kids Network
Note: If you know of a great kite or bow template, then please let me know so that I can include it in the list.

I think next week, we'll read Let's Fly a Kite by Stuart J. Murphy and create a symmetrical kite design using one-inch color tiles or pattern blocks. The kite one-inch tile template can be found in the Go Fly a Kite Unit. What fun! 

We would love to see your kite designs if you try this activity.
Please include a link to your blog in the comment section below. 


  1. There are so many things addressed with this lesson. I will be using your ideas (again!) thank you (again.) I especially like placing the square tiles then coloring each square the corresponding color.

    We did a fun Amanda Bennett kite unit study 2 or 3 years ago.

  2. Thank you Jennifer! It is a great way for children to explore a variety of concepts while having fun with manipulatives. She created a different kite design that day and practiced adding multiple numbers based on color as well. My daughter wants to do this activity again tomorrow. I think I will let her explore the possibilities while I am working on another math post for this week. It should go live on or before Wednesday as a precursor to my "Spotlight on the Crew" post for Thursday. So please stop by again this week. I am happy to hear that you will use the idea in your homeschool. Please come back and share a link. I would love to see the kite designs. I will have to check out the Amanda Bennett Kite Unit Study - I didn't realize she had one. It sounds interesting! Thank you for visiting and commenting.

    1. That was my review. I just check and the link in it still takes your to that study on her website.

  3. THIS IS WONDERFUL and you have one smart cookie there. I still have my four year old adding and subtracting. This activity offers so much, creativity included. My girls would love it. Once we do it, I will post about it and link back to you here. I'm pinning it so I can grab it when I need it. Thanks! Oh, her sentences was great also!

  4. Steph, Thank you. I can't wait to see their creations! I enjoyed visiting your blog today. Please come back and leave your blog address. I clicked on your name above and was sent to a Google + page, but I do not use it so I had a hard time finding your blog. I found it earlier today through the Monday Math Blog Hop linky. We had loads of fun with this activity. I hope they like it as well.

  5. What a neat idea! Thank you for sharing. I noticed in another comment that you mentioned that when you clicked on the commentor it took you to her google plus page which you don't use. However, Google is the only option you enabled for us to sign in and leave comments. Just wanted you to know why it is working that way.

  6. What a cute idea! Our teaching style is very much alike. :)