Lesson plan

Equivalent Fractions Memory Game

Your fourth graders will not only have fun creating and playing an equivalent fractions memory game in this interactive lesson, they will also become much stronger mathemeticians in the process.
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Students will be able to identify and generate equivalent fractions.

(2 minutes)
  • Write the following on the board: 1 foot is equivalent to 12 inches 12 eggs is equivalent to a dozen eggs
  • Read the sentences aloud and ask students to consider what they think the word equivalent means.
  • Affirm that equilavent means 'the same as'. Tell students that today they will learn about equivalent fractions or fractions that have different numbers but represent the same value.
(8 minutes)
  • On a piece of chart paper, write the title 'Equivalent Fractions' and draw a t-chart below it.
  • On the left side, write 1/2 and draw a bar model to represent the fraction below it. Continue down the row, writing and drawing bar models for other fractions such as 1/3, 3/7, 15/20, and 8/10 (Note: This chart can be made ahead of time).
  • Tell students that any fraction multiplied or divided by a fraction with a value of one (same numerator, same denominator) is equivalent.
  • On the right side of the t-chart, model how you find equivalent fractions and state your strategy explicitly.
  • Inform students that equivalent fractions are generated by either multiplying or dividing the numerator and denominator by the same digit (i.e. 3/7 x 2/2 = 6/14). Be sure to draw a bar model to demonstrate how the shaded area of both fractions are the same.
  • Mention that when the fraction is in its simplest form such as 1/2, 1/3, and 3/7, the only way to find equivalent fractions is by multiplying, and not dividing it.
(10 minutes)
  • Create a similar t-chart on another piece of chart paper and invite two students to come up, and fill out the chart by generating equivalent fractions. For example, student A can choose the first fraction, while student B finds an equivalent fraction, and then student A must find yet another equivalent fraction.
  • Repeat the process with several pairs of students, and then have them work with a partner to generate equivalent fractions on their own using scratch paper.
(10 minutes)
  • Distribute four index cards to each student.
  • Instruct them to write in large print one fraction and three equivalent fractions to match.
  • Circulate the room to ensure students are writing a set of equivalent fractions.
  • Divide students into groups of three or four.
  • Show students how they will combine and shuffle their index cards into a pile, place them face down in an array, and play the memory game. When they find two that are equivalent, they get to keep them.
  • Monitor students as they play until all cards are matched up in pairs.

Support: what to change

  • Allow students to complete the Equivalent Fractions Exercise for additional practice (see resources).
  • Gather students in a small group to review the concept of equivalent fractions with basic examples such as 1/2 = 2/4. Accompany each fraction with a visual aide.

Enrichment: what to change

  • Challenge students with prealgebraic problems related to equivalent fractions such as 3/4 = ?/12.
(5 minutes)
  • Write a fraction on the board, ask students to write an equivalent fraction on their whiteboard, and have them hold it up in the air.
  • Repeat with another fraction to measure students' ability to produce equivalent fractions.
(5 minutes)
  • Show the following on the board: 2/5 = 4/10 = 6/20.
  • Ask students to look at the number statement and reflect on whether it is true. Then, invite them to turn to a partner to fix the sentence so it is correct. Encourage students to share their math thinking.

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