Lesson plan

6. Compare fractions using various benchmarks (A)

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: Apply choosing a reasonable benchmark that may not be half or 1 to make fraction comparisons.

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge and understanding of comparing fractions with using a benchmark to a mathematical situation. Students are asked to choose reasonable benchmarks that are not half or 1 in order to make a comparison.

Key Concept students will use: 

  • We can compare two numbers indirectly by comparing them both to a common benchmark.

Skills students will use:

  • Compare fractions with same numerators (Grade 3, Unit 11)
  • Generate equivalent fractions (Grade 3, Unit 10)
  • Choose a reasonable benchmark to make a comparison using <, >, or =

Students engage in Mathematical Practice 3 (construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others) as they choose a reasonable benchmark and explain their reasoning as well as why another benchmark is not reasonable.  Students must also then justify their comparison of the numbers with that benchmark.

Key vocabulary: 

  • benchmark fraction
  • denominator
  • equivalent fraction
  • numerator