Lesson Plan:

Comparing Fractions with the Same Denominator

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September 1, 2015
by Jennifer Armstrong

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to compare fractions with the same denominators.


Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Write a list of fractions with the same denominator, or bottom number, on the board, such as 1/3 and 2/3.
  • Ask student volunteers to share a fraction comparison that they noticed, For example: 1/3 is less than 2/3.
  • Write the fraction comparisons on the board, such as 1/3 < 2/3.
  • Ask small groups to look at the comparisons on the board and determine if they can identify any patterns. For example, if the denominator is the same, the larger numerator, or top number, is the greater fraction.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)

  • Draw a number line on the board from 0 to 4/4.
  • Label each hash mark as 0/4, 1/4, 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4.
  • Plot 2/4 and 3/4 on the number line.
  • Note to students that 0/4 is the same as 0 and 4/4 is the same as 1. Draw a circle divided into fourths to illustrate this.
  • Show students that 3/4 is closer to 4/4 or one whole.
  • Draw 2 circles of the same size, each divided into fourths.
  • Shade 3/4 of one circle and 2/4 of the other.
  • Write 3/4 > 2/4 next to the number line.
  • Explain that using a number line and drawing are two different ways that can help determine fraction comparison.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (5 minutes)

  • Give students 1/8 fraction strips, and have them make 2/8 and 4/8.
  • Instruct students to draw a number line or make a drawing to compare.
  • Then, direct students to write a comparative statement on their individual dry erase boards or notebooks.

Independent Working Time (20 minutes)

  • Direct students to work with a partner to complete the word problems on the Same Denominator Partner Problems worksheet.
  • As students are working, circulate around the classroom to ask students to verbally explain their work.



  • Enrichment: Use mixed denominators to compare fractions, and have your students use a number line or drawing to show this visually.
  • Support: Put students in small groups, and direct them to use their dry erase boards to draw number lines and use drawings to make their comparative statements. Have them focus on the visuals rather than the numbers and number statements.


Assessment (5 minutes)

  • As an exit ticket, give your students a problem to solve. For example: Sam ran 4/6 of a mile, and Ben ran 2/6 of a mile. Who ran further? Write a comparative statement. Use a drawing, number line, or words to explain your answer.
  • Collect the assessments to grade and evaluate understanding.

Review and Closing (5 minutes)

  • Ask a student volunteer to explain her answer in words to the class for the assessment.
  • Instruct a different student to show a number line for this problem.
  • Have a third volunteer show a drawing for this problem.
  • Direct students to create a fraction rule or pattern when comparing fractions with the same denominator.
  • Display this fraction rule in the classroom.

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