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# Growing fractions

You can use patterns to illustrate simple fractions.

Each student will need at least three strips of paper about 2 cm wide and 30 cm long.

Ask students to divide one of their strips into two equal parts. **How many folds were required? What is each part called?**

Challenge students to divide another strip into three equal parts by folding. Expect a lot of trial and error. Students may come up with the idea of folding a 'Z snake'.

Repeat with folding into four equal parts. Encourage students to fold a 'W snake' rather than re-folding the halves.

Summarise and explain the patterns students observe.

- The parts in the strips are getting smaller.
- The number of parts and the number of folds both increase by one each time.
- The number of folds is always one less than the number of parts.

Ambitious students may continue the pattern to greater numbers of folds.

See * Folding Patterns* for another patterning activity involving fractions.