I was doing a long term substitute job for a first grade class and had to teach the students their first introduction to fractions. I was planning math activities for their stations that day and thought that bowling would be a fun way to teach them the concepts that they needed to learn in order to make sense of fractions. I looked around the school for a kid’s bowling set but couldn’t find one so using unit blocks was my best bet. Then, I used an editing program to make a printable to use for the game. Sure enough, it was a huge hit and helped the kids understand parts of a whole. Here is how to do this with your students.

You will need to print this free printable and make copies for the students.

You will need 5 white unit blocks and one red unit block per each bowling pin. You can make 6 pins or 10 pins for each group of two students.

I then used a hexagon block as the bowling pin because it minimizes issues that a ball would cause such as bouncing around the classroom and causing lots of noise. You will also need a pen for recording the fraction scores.

The rules are pretty simple. The teacher sets up the “lanes” using easy to remove tape. The kids get in groups of two. Player one sets the hexagon block on the ground behind the line and using their fingers, launches the block toward the pins.

When the pins are knocked down, the student writes the total number of pins as the denominator and the number of pins knocked down as the numerator. Then, the next student goes.

After 4 turns each, the student add the top numbers of the fractions to find out who knocked that most pins down out of 4.

As I said before, this game was a huge hit with the kids and really did help give them a foundation for how fractions work. I hope you have fun using this with your students!