Lesson 4

Build Fractions from Unit Fractions

Lesson Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is for students to build non-unit fractions and whole numbers from unit fractions.

Lesson Narrative

In the previous lesson, students named non-unit fractions and made sense of the notation used to write them. In this lesson, students play a game in which they build non-unit fractions from unit fractions (for example, they try to collect enough cards showing \(\frac{1}{6}\) to make \(\frac{3}{6}\)). They record these fractions on a fraction strip diagram. Then, students partition and shade diagrams to represent situations involving fractional lengths and consider the location of the endpoint of a fractional length. This will be helpful in subsequent lessons, when students represent fractions on a number line.

  • Engagement
  • MLR8

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Build non-unit fractions and whole numbers from unit fractions.

Student Facing

  • Let’s build other fractions from unit fractions.

Required Materials

Materials to Gather

Materials to Copy

  • Secret Fractions Stage 1 Cards
  • Secret Fractions Stage 1 Gameboard

Required Preparation

Activity 1:

  • Create a set of cards from the blackline master for each group of 2.
  • Print extra gameboards for the launch and groups that have time for an extra game.
  • Students might want a folder or divider so their partner doesn’t see their cards.

CCSS Standards


Building Towards

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

How did having visual representations help students think about building fractions from unit fractions in today’s lesson?

Suggested Centers

  • Mystery Number (1–4), Stage 3: Fractions with Denominators 2, 3, 4, 6 (Addressing)
  • Number Line Scoot (2–3), Stage 2: Halves, Thirds and Fourths (Addressing)

Print Formatted Materials

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Student Task Statements pdf docx
Lesson Cover Page pdf docx
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Teacher Presentation Materials pdf docx
Blackline Masters zip

Additional Resources

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