Year level: 4

Strand: Number

Lesson length: 60 mins

Explore fractions through plant growth in this engaging lesson. Embark on a journey into the world of fractions through the growth of garden plants. Students will measure and represent plant growth using fractions, gaining a clear understanding of numerators and denominators. This interactive lesson encourages creative exploration of equivalent fractions while fostering a deeper connection with the concept of fractions in the context of gardening.

This lesson is one of a series of lessons developed in collaboration with the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). 

Fruit fractions: Growing with fruit Image

Achievement standard

Students recognise equivalent fractions and make connections between fraction and decimal notations. Students count and represent fractions on a number line.

Content descriptions

Students find equivalent representations of fractions using related denominators and make connections between fractions and decimal notation. AC9M4N03

Students count by fractions including mixed numerals; locate and represent these fractions as numbers on number lines. AC9M4N04

General capabilities



Cross-curriculum priorities

Sustainability: All life forms, including human life, are connected through Earth’s systems (SS1)

The following items below are suggested for formative assessment for this lesson.

Preserve time at the end of the lesson for students to reflect and demonstrate their learning. Utilise ‘Exit Ticket’ the teacher's slide 9.

  • Students will stand behind their desk and stand on tiptoes with arms spread out – this is to represent them as a ‘whole plant’.
  • They then curl up in a little ball on the floor to represent a seed.
  • The teacher gives increments of fractions (for example, ‘You are now  1 10   fully grown’ ‘You are now   1 4  fully grown’.
  • The students follow these increments by ‘growing’ until they are finally a ‘whole’ plant.
  • Repeat the activity with students in pairs taking turns giving each other instructions on how to ‘grow’.

Expect responses such as: Students 'grow' to half very quickly before slowing down. (Students think that half is larger than it is.) It is very hard to grow a small amount like a    1 10 .

Some students may:

  • find it challenging to grasp the fundamental concept of fractions, especially if they haven't been exposed to it before
  • find the introduction of terms like ‘numerator’ and ‘denominator’ can be a bit abstract for younger students – students may confuse these terms
  • find understanding equivalent fractions, where different representations equal the same amount, can be challenging for students, as it requires abstract thinking and the ability to visualise fractions in various forms within the context of plant growth.

It is expected that students have:

  • basic arithmetic skills (addition, subtraction, and multiplication) to work with fractions and measurements in the context of gardening
  • some prior familiarity with common garden plants and their growth patterns is useful but not mandatory.

What you need:

  • Lesson plan (Word)

  • Teacher's slides (PowerPoint)

  • Equivalent fractions matching game (PDF)

  • Student exercise books, rulers, scissors, 1cm-grid paper (optional) 

  • Seedlings, or access to a garden (optional)