Activity:

Fraction Simplification

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What You Need:

  • Playing cards (without face cards)
  • Pencils
  • Paper
  • Players (an even number)

What You Do:

  1. Draw a line through the center of a piece of paper, cutting it in half crosswise. This will act as a fraction bar, separating the numerator and the denominator during the game. Create one of these for every two players. 
  2. Have each pair of players face each other.
  3. Shuffle and deal out the cards evenly between the players. Each person should place their cards in front of them, face down.
  4. Begin the game by having every player turn a card from their stacks face up simultaneously, and place it on the paper in front of them. The cards should be placed above the fraction bar, to represent the numerator.
  5. Players should then repeat the process with a second card, placing it below the fraction bar to represent the denominator.
  6. For every two players, there should be two cards above and two cards below the fraction bar, for a total of four cards.
  7. The first person to successfully simplify the fraction shown in front of them wins all of the cards. If both players simplify the fraction at the same time, they split the cards.
  8. If the fraction can't be simplified, have each player take the cards that the other player laid down and put them at the bottom of his deck.
  9. When one player has collected all of the cards, the game is over and they’ve won! To shorten game length, you can set a time limit on the game. When the time is up, the player with the most cards is the winner.

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