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Unit Fraction Frenzy

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Students will be able to create models to represent unit fractions.

(10 minutes)
• Explain to your students that they will be building fraction models.
• Remind students that a fraction is an equal part of one whole. Review that a numerator is the top number in a fraction, and the denominator is on the bottom.
• Define a unit fraction as a basic fraction with a numerator of 1.
• Write several examples on the board: Â½, 1/3, Â¼, etc.
• Show students that each has a numerator of 1 with a different denominator.
• Tell your students that they will create models.
(10 minutes)
• Hold up an index card.
• Explain that this rectangle represents 1 whole and that it is not broken into any parts yet. Show the unit fraction Â½, and explain that the fraction has two important pieces of information: the numerator and the denominator.
• Explain that the denominator indicates how many equal parts to break the whole into.
• Have students take one index card, and direct them to fold the card in half.
• Emphasize that the card is now broken into halves, and label each part as Â½.
• Explain that one of these parts is Â½ of the whole and that one part is a unit fraction.
• Repeat with 1/3, and Â¼. Continue to emphasize that each part must be equal, and the numerator must be 1.
(15 minutes)
• Instruct your students to create unit fraction models for 1/5, 1/6, and 1/7.
• Have students check with one another to make sure each part is equal.
• After each unit fraction, have one student share the model he created.
• Have students place all of the models they have created so far in front of them.
• Ask students what they notice about the fractions. For example, how does the size of the parts change as the denominator increases?
(15 minutes)
• Have students continue to create models for unit fractions of 1/8, 1/10, and 1/12.
• Direct your students to glue the models into their notebooks for future reference.
• Enrichment: Challenge students to create other models of unit fractions using different shapes such as circles, squares, etc. Students may also create more unit fractions with larger denominators.
• Support: For students who are struggling, draw the lines on the rectangle, and have the student determine the correct label.
(5 minutes)
• During the lesson, circulate as students create and label unit fractions.
• At the end of the lesson, check your students' notebooks to make sure that students are creating accurate models of the unit fractions.
(5 minutes)
• Have students pair and share the definition of a unit fraction and share one example from their notebooks.

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