Lesson plan

4. Compare fractions with a common benchmark (C)

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.4.NF.A.2 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/4/NF/A/2
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP3 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP3
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP4 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP4
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP5 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP5
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Lesson objective: Extend understanding that fractions can be compared using its comparison to a benchmark fraction.

Students bring prior knowledge of comparing fractions from 3.NF.A.3.a-d. This prior knowledge is extended to using a benchmark as students compare fractions. A conceptual challenge students may encounter is understanding a reasonable benchmark fraction depends on the fractions that are being compared. 

The concept is developed through work with a number line, which shows a fraction's size in relation to a benchmark.

This work helps students deepen their understanding of number because students are reasoning about the size of a number based on its relationship to a benchmark.

Students engage in Mathematical Practice 3 (construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others) as they reason about the size of a fraction in comparison to its benchmark, and as they reason about the comparison of fractions because of their relationship to benchmark fractions.

Key vocabulary:

  • benchmark fraction
  • denominator
  • equivalent
  • half
  • numerator
  • relationship
  • unit fraction