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Birthday Cookout

Forrest Smith
5th grade
McLendon Elementary School
DeKalb County Schools


In this task, students will determine the quantity of each food item needed for a cookout. Students will compute with fractions to solve the problem.

Illustrative Task
Bob turned 60 this year! His family celebrated by having a cookout. Marcy took orders and found one fifth as many people wanted chicken as wanted steaks, one fourth as many people wanted steaks as wanted hot dogs, and one half as many people wanted hot dogs as wanted hamburgers. She gave her son-in-law, the chef, an order for 80 hamburgers.
  • How many people asked for chicken?
  • How many people asked for steak?
  • How many asked for hot-dogs?
Write to help explain your best thinking using words, numbers, or pictures. Be prepared to share!

Please note how some students solved this problem using the interlocking blocks available to them while other students solved the problem using division and multiplication. This differentiation was available to students because they are encouraged to solve the problem in a way that made sense to them. It is important to allow students to solve problems in multiple ways, allowing them to be successful with grade-level standards.

GPS Addressed
M5N4. Students will continue to develop their understanding of the meaning of common fractions and compute with them.

Video Information
Use these questions to guide your thinking about some of the important teacher ideas in the lesson featured in the video clip.
  1. What kinds of questions does the teacher ask to promote students’ problem solving?
  2. How is the teacher gauging students’ current understandings and building from those understandings?
  3. Consider the GPS standards listed with this video.
  4. What makes this lesson different from lessons you have taught on this topic?

Classroom Materials

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