Dear Lois:A while back you said to ask you about the story of the lady with the big hat. So I'm asking................Wants to Know

Dear Wants: The story of "The Lady and the Big Hat" is sort of a stupid story, but a famous stupid story. It has helped many students remember how to change improper fractions into mixed numbers. So, here t'is. Hope you enjoy it.

The Lady with the Big Hat

Once there was a lady who liked hats. Big hats, small hats, sunbonnets, picture hats, pill boxes--she liked them all.

One evening the lady wanted to go to a movie. She looked in her hat closet, but she couldn't decide which hat to wear. Finally, she got out her scissors, needle and thread and sewed pieces of this hat and that hat together into one big hat. Then the lady put on her great big hat and went to the movie theater. Mathematically, the lady and her hat looked like this:

At the movie theater the lady marched right up front and sat down in the first row. Of course, you know what happened; nobody behind her could see the screen because of her big hat. After all, everybody--well, almost everybody--knows that it is improper to wear a big hat in a movie theater.

"Lady, take off that big hat," the people behind her begged; but the lady just ignored them.

At last, a man in a plaid shirt grabbed the hat off the lady's head and hid it under his seat, like this:

"Hey, give me back my hat!" the lady yelled. She got down on the floor and crawled around looking for her hat. She found it under the man's seat. Hunting for the hat, she looked like this:

"You can have your hat," said the man in the plaid shirt, "but only if you divide it up into smaller hats."

So the lady divided the hat up into smaller hats like this:

While the movie was playing, the lady kept all the hats on her lap; but when the movie was over, she put on her 4 2/3 hats and went home.

There you have it, Wants! Hope this stupid story helps you remember how to change improper fractions into mixed numbers.

Return to Home page.

"Ask Lois Terms" © 2003 Lindsay-Livingston