Activities at Home

U.S. Fraction-ography

Our 50 states provide your child with ready practice in finding fractional parts!

What You Need:

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What You and Your Child Will Do:

  1. Your child should know that Alaska and Hawaii are only two of the 50 states that do not share a border with another state. Based on this, ask the following question.
    “What fraction of the states do not touch any of the other states?”
    Answer: 2/50 (two fiftieths), or 1/25 (one twenty-fifth)
  2. The number of states whose names begin with a particular letter of the alphabet can be expressed as fractions. Ask, for example,
    “What fraction of the states have names that begin with the letter N?”
    Answer: 8/50 (seven fiftieths), or 4/25 (four twenty-fifths)
    [Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota]
  3. Almost half of the states are located west of the Mississippi River. Help your child locate the river at its source in Minnesota and trace it to where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana. Then ask,
    “What fraction of the states lie west of the Mississippi River?”
    Answer: 24/50 (twenty-four fiftieths), or 12/25 (twelve twenty-fifths)
  4. See if your child remembers to include Alaska and Hawaii in answering this question.
    “What fraction of the states have borders that touch the Pacific Ocean?”
    Answer: 5/50 (five fiftieths), or 1/10 (one tenth)