As an introduction to this activity you may find it helpful to watch this Numberblocks video.
To help with this activity you will need set of Lego bricks to make groups of objects to share into halves. If you don't have access to Lego bricks you could use penny coins, pencils etc
Ask your child to use the blocks to make ten towers. Start with a tower of 1, then a tower of 2, then a tower of 3 etc. Continue up to, and including, a tower of 10 blocks. Line them up in order.
(If you do not have any blocks, make groups of your chosen objects instead.)
Now ask them to break their towers/share the group into halves (do this one at a time). Can they make two equal towers from each tower?
(We have included a “Halving Mat” for practical work to share objects other than blocks. Place a group of items in the top box and then share equally into the two bottom boxes.)
Begin with the tower with 1 block. There is only one block making up the tower so it cannot be easily made into two towers — we would need a saw!
Next break up the tower of 2 - it makes two towers/groups of 1. Write on a piece of paper: 1/2 of 2 = 1.
Then break up the tower of 3 - they are not the same height, they are not equal.
Then break up the tower of 4 - it makes two towers of 2. Write on a piece of paper:: 1/2 of 4 = 2.
Repeat for all numbers to 10. Each time the two towers/groups are equal, write the halves on the paper.
Ask :- What do you notice? Which towers/groups can be easily split into halves? 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 — the even numbers.
Show that it is possible to halve odd numbers but not easily! It is possible to saw through a Lego block to make half a block. Demonstrate using cubes of cheese!
Now ask your child to halve all even numbers from 10 to 20 writing a number sentence for each e.g. 1/2 of 16 = 8. They should first build the tower/create a group of objects then break/share it to make two equal towers/groups. Emphasise how halves are two EQUAL parts!
To accompany this practical activity there are differentiated worksheets - Halving to 10 and Halving to 20
Halving Challenge: Why not plan and create a picnic?
Now you have had lots of practice sharing things into halves, can you create a picnic for two teddies/toys/children?
You will need to share everything equally between two (everything in halves). You might need to cut some whole things into half (like sandwiches or cakes), check that the two pieces are equal. Can you cut some things into quarters? How many quarters will each teddy have?
(There is a video you can watch to remind you how to share equally.)