Lesson plan

1. Using lengths to compare fractions (C)

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.3 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/3/NF/A/3
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.3d http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/3/NF/A/3/d
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP3 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP3
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Lesson objective: Understand that we can compare fractions by thinking about their magnitudes.

Students bring prior knowledge of understanding fractions from 3.NF.1 (Develop understanding of fractions as numbers). This prior knowledge is extended to compare fractions as students are asked to compare sets of fractions. A conceptual challenge students may encounter is difficulty interpreting fractions as numbers and using the same sized whole to compare. 

The concept is developed through work with visual models, such as a number line, which will aid in solidifying understanding of fractions as numbers that can be compared when referring to the same sized whole.

This work helps students deepen their understanding of number because students will learn to see fractions as a number.

Students engage in Mathematical Practice 3 (Construct viable arguements and critique the reasoning of others) as they work to prove their ideas and create an argument for or against that of others.

Key vocabulary:

  • area models
  • compare
  • denominator
  • number line
  • numerator
  • tape diagram

Special materials needed:

  • fraction strips
  • paper
  • pencil