Lesson plan

Fractions in Action

Have your "whole" group get a "piece" of fun in this sweet and tasty math game!
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Discussing Fraction Representations pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Discussing Fraction Representations pre-lesson.

Students will be able to write fractions in mathematical notation and words.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Begin the lesson with an introduction to fractions. Ask your students if they have ever had to share something, such as splitting an apple in half with a friend or a family member.
  • Explain that today the class will learn about fractions by exploring the different parts of a fraction and using key vocabulary.
(10 minutes)
  • Arrange the class into small groups.
  • Give each group a dry erase board and a dry erase marker.
  • Explain to students that a fraction is a “part of a whole." In other words, it is a part of something bigger.
  • Show students on the interactive whiteboard, projector, or poster paper one rectangle with seven equal parts.
  • Ask each student to get a dry erase board and marker to draw a rectangle divided into seven equal parts. Ask students to also draw a line beside the square they drew.
  • Explain to students that the line they drew is called a vinculum, which separates the top number from the bottom number.
  • Remind them that there are two parts to a fraction. Tell them that the numerator is the top number, and the denominator is the bottom number.
  • Tell your students that the numerator tells how many pieces were used from the whole, while the denominator tells how many pieces in total is in the whole.
  • Show the first example from the Color the Fractions worksheet.
  • Ask your students to look at the first example. Have them color four of their rectangles on their dry erase boards.
  • Explain to students that they just colored in part of a whole.
(10 minutes)
  • Give students in each group their packs of candy with a paper plate. Ask them to open their packs over the plate.
  • Have them count each candy piece that comes in their individual packs. Instruct them to use their total number of pieces as their denominator because that is the whole.
  • Instruct students to focus on one specific color of candy (e.g., red pieces) and count how many they have. Tell them to move all of those pieces of candy to the top of their plate. Explain that this number of red pieces is the numerator because it is how many equal parts out of the whole.
  • Have them add that number as the numerator and then read the fraction they have written on the plate.
  • Repeat this process with different colored candy pieces to give students practice creating different fractions. Then, prompt discussion by asking the questions:
    • Which color candy did you have the most have?
    • How does that fraction look compared to the others?
    • What do you notice about the denominators in all of these fractions?
    • What do you notice about the numerators?
(10 minutes)
  • Distribute a copy of the Numerator and Denominator: Basic Fraction Terms workseet to the class and instruct them to create fractions by recording the numerator and denominator in the correct spot.


  • Have your students create fractions for each other to shade in. Instruct them to draw shapes with equal fractions inside and write a fraction next to it. Invite them to switch with a partner and shade the fractions in correctly. Alternatively, have them fill out the rest of the Color Fractions worksheet.


  • Have students who are struggling work in a small group to complete the task with the student visual support sheet. Peers can help the student recall the parts of a fraction with the visual support sheet.
(10 minutes)
  • Divide the class into groups of four students. Tell them that they are responsible for explaining two examples on the Numerator and Denominator: Basic Fraction Terms worksheet to their group.
  • Circulate and observe student conversation, listening specifically for correct explanations of fractions and what they show.
(5 minutes)
  • Have a student write any fraction on the board.
  • Ask for a volunteer to identify the numerator and denominator in this fraction, and then create a matching visual that represents the fraction.
  • Call on another student to explain how they know the fractions show the same thing, and encourage them to make any corrections to their peer's work, if necessary.

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