Lesson 1

Representations of Fractions (Part 1)

Lesson Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is for students to make sense of unit fractions with denominators 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, and 12, using physical and visual representations.

Lesson Narrative

In grade 3, students were introduced to fractions as numbers. They learned to name and represent fractions, to recognize simple equivalent fractions, and to compare fractions with like numerators and denominators (limited to 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8). They used fraction strips, area diagrams, tape diagrams, and number lines to support their reasoning with fractions.

This lesson activates students’ prior knowledge of unit fractions and includes fractions with new denominators 5, 6, 10, and 12. Students revisit the meaning of numerator and denominator, name unit fractions, create representations for them, and recall some strategies and tools for reasoning about fractions.

The idea of equivalence may naturally come up (and will help to prepare students for upcoming work), but it is not the focus of this lesson.

  • Engagement

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Make sense of the numerator and denominator of unit fractions that have denominators 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, and 12.
  • Use physical and visual representations to reason about fractions.

Student Facing

  • Let’s name some fractions and represent them visually.

Required Materials

Materials to Gather

Materials to Copy

  • Fraction Strips

Required Preparation

Activity 1:

  • Each group of 2 needs 4 strips of equal-size paper (cut lengthwise from letter-size or larger paper or use the provided blackline master).

CCSS Standards

Building On

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

What did you learn about each student and their foundational understanding of fractions based on their work today?

Suggested Centers

  • Get Your Numbers in Order (1–5), Stage 3: Denominators 2, 3, 4, or 6 (Addressing)
  • Mystery Number (1–4), Stage 3: Fractions with Denominators 2, 3, 4, 6 (Supporting)

Print Formatted Materials

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

Additional Resources

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