Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fraction Creatures & Creative Writing

After this lesson and reading Picture Pie, we continued our exploration of fractions and art by delving into creative writing. I suggested that my son invent any kind of imaginary creature.  Consider what imaginary creature you might find in the:
  • jungle
  • forest
  • ocean depths
  • desert
  • realms of outer space...on Mars
  • swamp
  • living in the sewers of a big city
His instructions:

1. Pick a location and make an imaginary creature using circle fractions.

2. Write about your creature. Consider:
  • habitat
  • what it eats
  • friends/enemies
  • special characteristics
  • physical description
  • lifespan
  • name and its meaning
3. If using a standard circle (i.e. all the circles were congruent before cutting into fractional shapes), pretend that just for today, the area of a circle = 1. Calculate the total area of your  creature. 

Here's his project:

The Seasaur
by J, age 8
Seasaur lives by rocky and coral places in the Antarctic waters. He eats krill and shrimp and plankton if he has to. His enemies are only humans. His friends are penguins, all whales, crabs and fish.

The Seasaur can grow up to 25-30 feet long, almost as big as Triceratops. Its spikes can grow up to three and four feet long. The blue spikes are only a warning but the red ones are poisonous. He can make the poison go away and has poisonous blood so no animal will eat him, only humans that don't know he's poisonous. His teeth are square, not spiky, because he eats shrimp and krill. He has special lungs and gills so he can go on land and water. Seasaur can live up to 40 years but normally lives 30 years.

Area of Seasaur: 4 5/8 circles.

***My inspiration for this lesson comes from one of my favorite people and mentors, Roger Kukes. He's the one who taught me to think in creative, artistic ways. I love his book, Drawing in the Classroom.

I'm linking up at stART.


  1. Thanks for sharing these fractions ideas, my dd will love them :-)

  2. The writing and drawing for this story are really interesting. The author's description of the Seasaur (I love that name!) makes me think this is a very special creature I would like to visit...well, of course I would beware the red spikes!! ;)

  3. I just loved the story - I could see his imagination taking flight. Great seasaurus too!

  4. What a great idea. He did a fantastic job!

  5. I love this idea. My child is a little older than yours, 10 years old, but this is just the sort of assignment that might work for her. I might have to adapt the assignment a little bit, but it might just work to get her to write.
    Helping my reluctant writer gain confidence, one writing assignment at a time!


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