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The Gobble Guts Pizza Fraction Game

© Beverley Paine 1997
an excerpt from Learning in the Absence of Education

A couple of years ago I got into the game making frenzy again, and had a brain wave for a great game to consolidate fractions, especially equivalent fractions. I hate teaching maths using text books, as it often confuses more people than it enlightens. Games that reflect real life can be great fun, and very challenging. This one was. Making it was just as challenging, and a real lesson in maths in itself. I'd thought you'd like a copy of the instructions, just for fun.

First of all we made a fractions cake from cardboard. Using a pair of compasses we drew equal size circles on stiff cardboard and cut them out. We then dissected them into all the fractions up to twelfths. This was tricky and took a few hours, with much learning and experimentation. Accuracy is important.

We labeled each fraction of each 'cake'. And then coloured all the pieces - the 'whole' was green, the halves orange, the thirds pink, the quarters blue, etc. I made a holder of cardboard, like a cylinder, with a base, to store all the pieces. We disregarded the sevenths and elevenths for the game, but used them for other fractions activities.

Making the board was easy. I used a piece of card board, the stiffer the better. I then drew twelve circles on it using a small bowl as a template, in a four by three grid. I connected these circles with two way horizontal and vertical arrows indicating that you can move in any direction from each circle. Each circle was labeled as below, and a small circle within illustrated the fraction shown.

Make 1/2 Eat 1/8 Make 1/12 Finish

Eat 1/4 Make 1/3 Eat 1/6 Eats 1/5

Start Make 1/10 Eat 1/3 Make 1/9

We made 'men' from beads glued together, but you can use anything.

Everyone begins on 'start' and someone goes first by throwing a die. Each player must move the number shown on the die. If the player lands on 'make 1/3' he or she must take the fraction 1/3 from the pizza 'bank'. The player may then throw a 1 next turn. He can move in any direction, but must be able to do what the circle he lands on says. For example he can 'eat 1/6' by exchanging his third for two sixths and then returning 1/6 to the 'bank'. Or alternatively he can 'eat 1/12' by exchanging his third for 4 twelfths and then returning 1/12 to the 'bank'. Another option would be to 'make 1/10' by collecting a tenth from the bank. Etc. This is where the game can get tricky.

The object is to make a complete, or more than one, complete pizza, and try and land on finish. This is much harder than it first appears and is a lot of fun. Cooperative play is almost essential for someone to win! If you want an easier game leave out fifths and tenths. This can be really tough and frustrating for someone who is too young, so I'd advise playing their character with them and really helping them out, otherwise you may just confuse fractions in their minds. The game really teaches equivalent fractions in a hands on concrete way.

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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.

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Welcome to the
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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!

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