Number Line Time

  • Third Grade
  • Math
  • 50 minutes
  • Standards: 3.NF.A.2
  • no ratings yet
August 4, 2015
by Dee Mulhern

It's time to zoom in on the space between 0 and 1 on the number line! In this lesson, your students will get practice labeling different fractions on the number line.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to label fractions on a number line.

Download Lesson Plan


Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Gather students together.
  • Introduce the idea of using a number line to show fractions. On the board, draw a number line with the whole numbers from 0 to 5.
  • Facilitate a discussion with students about how numbers relate to one another on the line. For example, as the line moves right, the value of the numbers becomes greater.
  • Tell students that they will zoom into the space on the line between 0 and 1 and label the fractions that fall on this part of the line.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)

  • Explain to your students that fractions that have a value of less than 1 fall between 0 and 1 on the number line.
  • Draw a zoomed in view of this number line on the board.
  • Connect the idea that just as a figure like a square has to be broken into equal parts, a number line has to be as well.
  • Show students a square broken into quarters. Model how to break the number line into four equal parts between 0 and 1.
  • Demonstrate how to label the number line as ¼, 2/4, and ¾, while shading in each corresponding part of the square.
  • Show students that 4/4 is equal to 1.
  • Repeat the previous step with other fractions with different denominators.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)

  • Ask your students to draw a number line in their notebooks, starting with 0 and 1.
  • Have student volunteers draw and label fifths on a number line on the board.
  • Direct your students to fill in their number lines in their notebooks in the same way.
  • Instruct your students to pair up to work on making at least two more number lines with different denominators such as 6 and 8. After each example, check and discuss as a class.

Independent Working Time (10 minutes)

  • Direct your students to work independently on the Comparing Fractions on a Number Line Worksheet.



  • Enrichment: Direct your students to label mixed denominators on the number line. Encourage your students to compare fractions with different denominators on the same number line. Discuss with these students different ways they could accurately accomplish this.
  • Support: Instruct your students to label points on the number line, and have the students label the corresponding fractions. Focus on denominators of 2, 4, and 8.


Assessment (5 minutes)

  • Circulate as students are working, making sure to check that they are spacing the fractions equally on the line.
  • Collect the Comparing Fractions on a Number Line Worksheet, and check for mastery.

Review and Closing (5 minutes)

  • Review a last example with the students, and have the students explain their thinking.
  • Ask questions to check for understanding and correct any misconceptions.

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