Lesson plan

3. Comparing fractions with like numerators (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.MP4 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP4
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Lesson objective: Understand that when fractions have the same numerators we can compare the fractions by thinking about the size of the pieces.

Students bring prior knowledge of understanding fractions from 3.NF.1 (Develop understanding of fractions as numbers). This prior knowledge is extended to reason about the size of each fraction as students compare them to determine which fraction is larger/smaller. A conceptual challenge students may encounter is reasoning about the size of denominators when numerators are alike. 

The concept is developed through work with visual models, which help develop a concrete undertanding about the size of each piece.

This work helps students deepen their understanding of equivalence because students are able to create models of fractions to compare and determine equivalency.

Students engage in Mathematical Practice #4 (Model with mathematics) as they create number lines, area models, and tape diagrams to represent the fractions.

Key vocabulary:

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

Special materials needed:

  • fraction strips
  • paper
  • pencil