Fill the Beast's Belly with tokens to make one whole then add a feature!
Allow students to approach learning, understanding, and adding fractions with this game. Everything from the printing to the game are treated as “part of a whole” for students to practice fractions throughout the process. The game was created with Grade 3 Common Core Unit 5, Lesson 12 (5.12) in mind, but can be played by anyone!
Standard quality, Layer height 0.20 mm, 2 shells
Every design should start with research and the destination/implementation in mind. Knowing this, I spoke with some friends who are teachers and asked what lessons their students could use some extra help. It was clear that adding and understanding fractions were a struggle for some students.
Model + Prototype
My idea then grew as a game—playing fractional discs to fill one whole
Now that the topic was in place, I turned to Autodesk Maya to build the prototypes and create test prints. I still allowed the idea to grow as the design process continued, but the core of the idea was already established.
I began by modeling the belly and the tokens to print them as a prototype. My goal was to make sure that the printed version of the tokens were accurate in proportion to the Beast’s Belly, so that when you put 1/8, 1/8, 1/4, and 1/2 it filled the Beast’s Belly precisely. Creating prototypes, it was clear that the design worked in proportion at a smaller scale, so I began creating the Beast Belly Base with its sections for added Features.
To create the Beast Belly’s Features, I went through 2 phases. The first was to come up with ideas for shapes (cat ears, a cruly tail, etc) and the second was to make sure that when they were printed, they would fit well into the final base.
Autodesk Maya: Boolean process. One model is carved out of another model using this command
Autodesk Maya: Beast Belly Base model with wireframe overlaid and looking through
Autodesk Maya: All pieces in Maya. The blue plane shows the print area so I can see how my objects will position on the printer
**The models, game, and worksheets were created based off of Grade 3 Common Core Unit 5, Lesson 12 (5.12) and reflect objectives with that in mind. I encourage anyone to add comments on how they used/implemented/assessed using this model.
- Identify and represent fractions equal to and between whole numbers by reasoning about their size.
- Express whole numbers as fractions
- Recognize fractions that are equivalent to whole numbers
- Grade 3 (this is the Primary Audience based on Common Core outcomes)
- K-8—this game would also be helpful for any Primary School Students, for hands-on review or preparation for the learning outcomes
- Students learning about fractions and/or learning about adding fractions
It is not necessary, but students may have an introduction to fractions as numbers equal to and between whole numbers. Students can use this game to reinforce these learning outcomes, but any student can fill the Beast’s Belly!
**These steps are for students and teachers who are using Beast Belly as part of their approach to learning and reinforcing fractions. Teachers may opt to simply print out all the pieces and use Beast Belly as a game. To allow excitement and awareness to 3D Printing use the suggested steps below:
- Introduce fractions as part of your regular curriculum
- Show Beast Belly on Thingiverse and use the opportunity to talk about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) as well as problem solving, design, creativity, and 3D Printing
Teachers are encouraged to place students into 5 groups and have each group “responsible” for setting up and printing one part of the game’s set.
• Please note that one “set” is outlined below. Teachers may decide to print more or less depending on the final needs of the class and the learning outcomes.
• To allow the optional worksheet to reinforce fraction knowledge best, print in the following order:
- Two 1/2 tokens
- Eight 1/8 tokens
- Features: one face, two tails, two ears
- Four 1/4 tokens
- One Beast Belly
• Other pieces that are available (but not part of the optional worksheets) are different facial features and other tokens
- (Optional) Distribute the worksheet (or create a similar worksheet) to reinforce that one whole can be divided in many different ways. This will also help students stay engaged while the object prints. Printing in multiple set-ups will allow printing in different colors. Having different pieces be different colors may help students quickly identify tokens representing one fraction. Different colored tokens is recommended, but not required.
• When a print is completed, have students fill in the appropriate part of the number line and color in the piece that has successfully printed.
• Reinforce that measurements of one whole can be taken in many ways. For example: The Beast Belly Base is only 1 piece (1/20) of the whole game, but it takes almost half the time and half the amount of materials needed for the whole game.
- Once all pieces have successfully printed, play the game!
One Set Example image
Steps: Game Rules
Suggested 1-4 players.
The Beast’s Belly is empty! Can you help the Beast find its face, ears and tail by filling its belly? Be careful not to overfill the Beast’s Belly—only a perfect 1 whole will satisfy the Beast’s Belly. How many different ways can you make 1 whole?
- The teacher mixes all tokens in a mixing container and randomly distributes 4 tokens to each player. The left over tokens go back into the mixing container.
- The teacher decides who will go first
- The first player plays one token into the Beast Belly
- Go clockwise to the next player. The next player plays a token.
a. If a student cannot play because their tokens will overfill the Beast Belly, their turn is skipped. (The teacher may opt to allow students who cannot play a token to pick another piece from the mixing container, but not play a token that turn)
b. If a student runs out of tokens, they are given 4 new random tokens from the mixing container
- This repeats until the Beast Belly is full. The Beast Belly may not overfill.
- The student who places the last token into the Beast Belly to fill one whole empties the Beast Belly and chooses a feature (face, tail, ear) to position on the Beast Belly Base.
a. Note: the ear and tail are the same size, so if a student is feeling silly—place the tail in the ear! The face is also square, so it may be places sideways, up-side down or right side up.
- All students help place the tokens that filled the Beast’s Belly from smallest to largest in front of the student who placed the feature
- The student who placed the feature describes how the Beast Belly was filled. Example: “Beast Belly is full because one whole equals 1/8 plus 1/8 plus 1/4 plus 1/2.”
- All tokens that were used to fill the Beast Belly go back into the mixing container.
a. Students who still have tokens keep their tokens in front of them
b. Students who have no tokens immediately get 4 new random tokens from the mixing container
- The turn order continues from where the play stopped
- Fill the Beast Belly again, turn by turn
- When 3 features have been placed, the student who places the last token for the last time, places the last feature. All student help to order the tokens from smallest to largest in front of the student who placed the feature. The student who placed the feature describes the tokens that filled the Beast Belly: “Beast Belly is full because one whole equals 1/2 plus 1/2.” After the one whole is described, the Beast Belly is fully featured so all students yell “BEAST BELLY!!” The game is over.
- If the 2-whole Beast Belly is used in play, the 2-whole Beast Belly should only get a feature when both bellies are full. The same procedure is followed, except now students describe what it takes to fill 2 wholes instead of one whole.
- Consider having multiple Bellies in play or mixing in some more complicated fraction tokens for more advanced students—Keep printing and expanding!
Optional Worksheets attached as PDF in files tab
Results + Assessment
- Students learn how to set up a print based off of their assigned portion of the game
- Students will be able to play the game at the conclusion of the printing
- If the optional worksheets are used, teachers may consider grading/assessing the successful completion of the worksheets
Quick Reference for printing time and printing material needed for each piece or common sets