Fraction of a Kingdom

Scripture: 1 Kings 12, 14:21-31; 2 Ch 10-11

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review the story of Rehoboam focusing especially on the divided kingdom.
  • Students will learn that fractions represent division.
  • Students will learn that the numerator (top number) of a fraction tells how many pieces of the whole you have and the denominator (bottom number) tell the total number of pieces in the whole.
  • Students will participate in an activity to help them better understand fractions.  

Guiding Question: How can we use fractions to show what part of a total one has?

Materials: paper (4 pieces per student or group), markers, 12 small items (beads, beans, rocks, etc.) per student or group

Procedure: Review the story of Rehoboam focusing especially on the idea that his reliance on foolish advisors caused the kingdom to be divided. Remind the students there were 12 tribes and 10 of them left to follow Jeroboam. This left Rehoboam with two tribes. Review the concept of fractions by demonstrating to that the denominator (bottom number) is the total number of pieces in this case 12. The numerator (top number) could be the number of pieces that stayed with Rehoboam (2) or the number of pieces that left (10). The resulting fractions would be that Rehoboam had 2/12 of Israel and 10/12 left his rule.

Have the students draw a large rectangle on each sheet of paper. On one sheet they should divide the rectangle into two equal pieces, one rectangle in three equal pieces, one in four equal pieces and last in six equal pieces. Beginning with the rectangle divided in two pieces, have the students divide their small objects equally in the halves of the rectangle. Ask the students what one half of 12 would be. Have the students repeat with thirds, fourths and sixths. If Rehoboam had two out of 12 tribes, did he have ½, 1/3, ¼, or 1/6 of the tribes? If Jeroboam had 10 out of 12 tribes, how many sixths of the kingdom did he have? If time allows repeat the activity changing the number 12 and find ½ of 10, ½ of 4, 1/3 of 6, 1/3 of 9, 2/3 of 9, ½ of 8, ¼ of 8. Etc.

Additional Questions:

  • What does the word “of” represent in a math word problem?

Supplemental Activity: Explain to students “of” in a math word problem usually means to multiply. So ½ of 12 is the same as ½ * 12. Have the students use their small objects to create and solve fraction multiplication problems.

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