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Teacher Notes: Egyptian Fractions Web Quest Project
This project was developed to help students understand how far fractions have come since they were first introduced by the Egyptians as early as 1800 B.C.!!! The word fraction actually comes from the Latin "fractio" which means to break. To help students understand how fractions have developed, this project allows them to step back even further in time to discover what the first number systems were like.
This lesson was originally designed as an opening to operations with fractions for 7th grade Pre-algebra. It could be useful as an extension for any math course working with fractions.
Egyptian Fractions Webquest: There are 6 groups. Each group has a different ability level, so ability grouping with this project works very well. They are in order of difficulty, from easy to most challenging. Each group is given the slip of paper with the information they need to include on their slides of the project. This could be done in class or at home with a computer. I limited my students to 2 slides per group so we had enough class time for the presentation. My students work collaboratively on a Google Presentation that I had started for them. A link to my template is included, you just have to save a copy so you can edit it. The last slide is resource page where all groups cited their sources. The following day the groups presented their slides to the class.
Presentation: Have each group present their slides to the class and share the information they learned about the Egyptians and fractions.
Teacher Guided Lesson: This is in two forms for your convenience, Smart Notebook and PowerPoint. I used the Smartboard and allowed students to come up and draw the hieroglyphics. They loved it! Some of the larger numbers have weird shapes and your non-artistic students may not want the whole class to see. I try to reinforce that this isn’t art class and I don’t grade on artwork. In the Smart Notebook file the hieroglyphics have been cloned, so your students can just hold and drag them down to the location needed rather than drawing if they want to. The first slide has a link to a G-rated music video of the famous 1980’s Bangles, “Walk Like an Egyptian” song if you want to relive the good times! Remind students that the Egyptians wanted to use as few number of fractions as possible.
Egyptian Fraction Student Worksheet: I assigned this as classwork that became homework if not finished after the lesson.
Answer Keys are included for your convenience. If you find any errors or think of something that might be useful to add to this lesson, please feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com