Lesson 15

Compare Fractions with the Same Denominator

Lesson Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is for students to compare two fractions with the same denominator.

Lesson Narrative

In previous lessons, students learned that fractions are built from unit fractions. Here, they reason that fractions with the same denominator are composed of parts that are the same size or length, so the numerator, which describes the number of parts, determines which fraction is greater. It is important that students have the opportunity to develop this understanding rather than learning a rule about comparing fractions with the same denominator.

Students are reminded that they can use the symbols >, =, or < to record the results of comparison of fractions, just as they did with whole numbers in earlier grades (MP6). This lesson (including the cool-down) enables the teacher to gauge students' familiarity with the symbols, but students are not yet expected to rely on the symbols to express comparison.

  • Representation
  • MLR7

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Compare two fractions with the same denominator by reasoning about their size.

Student Facing

  • Let’s compare two fractions with the same denominator.

Required Materials

Materials to Gather

Materials to Copy

  • Spin to Win Recording Sheet
  • Spin to Win Spinner

Required Preparation

Activity 2:

  • Each group of 2 needs a paper clip for their spinner.

CCSS Standards


Lesson Timeline

Warm-up 10 min
Activity 1 20 min
Activity 2 15 min
Lesson Synthesis 10 min
Cool-down 5 min

Teacher Reflection Questions

What prior knowledge about unit and non-unit fractions did you see students use to help them compare fractions?

Suggested Centers

  • Rolling for Fractions (3–5), Stage 1: Equivalent Fractions (Addressing)
  • Number Line Scoot (2–3), Stage 3: Halves, Thirds, Fourths, Sixths and Eighths (Addressing)
  • Five in a Row: Multiplication (3–5), Stage 2: Factors 1–9 (Supporting)

Print Formatted Materials

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Lesson Cover Page pdf docx
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Teacher Presentation Materials pdf docx
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