Lesson plan

5. Express whole numbers as fractions (C)

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.3a http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/3/NF/A/3/a
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.3c http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/3/NF/A/3/c
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP4 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP4
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP6 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP6
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Lesson objective: Find equivalent fractions for whole numbers.

Students bring prior knowledge of equivalent fractions for one whole from 3.G.A.2. This prior knowledge is extended to generate and recognize fractions equivalent to whole numbers other than one as students use pattern blocks to build the numbers. A conceptual challenge students may encounter is understanding that each whole can be named in many ways without changing the value of the whole.

The concept is developed through work with proportionally-sized pattern blocks, which supports the idea of building whole numbers using unit fractions.

This work helps students deepen their understanding of equivalence, because, although the whole is named with different fractions, the value of the whole does not change.

Students engage in Mathematical Practice 4 (model with mathematics) as they represent fractions using pattern blocks and equations. 

Key vocabulary:

  • equivalent
  • unit fractions
  • whole

Special materials needed:

  • pattern blocks for each student