Diffission Teacher Guide - Warm Up Lesson

Warm Up Lesson

Time Required

60 Minutes


Partition shapes into parts with equal areas. Express the area of each part as a unit fraction of the whole.
Content specific language and definitions for this activity can be found in the glossary.




Large sheet of paper for anchor chart


Bags with 8 tiles each of three different colorsSame color crayons


Prior to beginning the activity, copy the Make the Fraction Recording Sheet for each student, create bags of square tiles and crayons to be distributed to each group, and prepare the anchor chart for post-activity group reflection.

Making Fractions

  • Introduce the concept of a fraction as equal parts of a whole and ask students to discuss with a partner what they think those words mean. Students will share with the group what they think a half of a rectangle would look like, what a third would look like and what a fourth would look like. It’s important to emphasize the idea of a fraction being an equal part of the whole.

  • Divide students into small groups of three or four and explain that we will be exploring ways to make fractions with the square tiles.

    • Ex: "Today, each one of our rectangles will need to be the same size. We will be making rectangles with 2 rows of 4 tiles."
  • In groups, students will select different ways to represent ½, ¼, and ⅓ of the rectangles using the different colors and recording these ways on their Make the Fraction Recording Sheet.

It’s important to monitor groups as they engage in the activity, asking questions about their recording of their rectangles.

Example Questions:

  • What different ways are there to represent these different fractions?
  • Can you justify your answer?
  • How many different ways can you represent _____? (1/2, 1/4)

Group Share: Ways to Make Rectangles

  • As a large group, students will come together to discuss the different ways to partition the rectangles into fractions. Ask for volunteers to share ways to make the rectangles for the whole group chart.
  • Introduce the different ways to represent fractions using different language:

    • Word form
    • Picture form
    • Number form


Foreshadow for students that they will be playing the game Diffission during the next class period.

Performance Task 1: Sort Fractions and Non Fractions

Evaluate student performance using the Sort Fractions and Non Fractions activity found in the appendix.