Lesson 8
Equivalent Fractions on the Number Line
Warmup: Estimation Exploration: A Shaded Portion (10 minutes)
Narrative
The purpose of an Estimation Exploration is to practice estimating a reasonable answer based on experience and known information. Students can identify fractions represented by the shaded portions in tape diagrams in which unit or nonunit fractions are marked. To estimate the shaded parts in an unmarked tape, students may rely on the size of benchmark fractions—\(\frac{1}{2}\), \(\frac{1}{3}\), or \(\frac{1}{4}\)—and partition those parts mentally until it approximates the size of the shaded ports. They may also estimate how many copies of the shaded part could fit in the entire diagram.
Launch
 Groups of 2
 Display the image.
 “What is an estimate that’s too high? Too low? About right?”
 1 minute: quiet think time
Activity
 “Discuss your thinking with your partner.”
 1 minute: partner discussion
 Record responses.
Student Facing
If the entire diagram represents 1 whole, about what fraction is shaded?
Make an estimate that is:
too low  about right  too high 

\(\phantom{\hspace{2.5cm} \\ \hspace{2.5cm}}\)  \(\phantom{\hspace{2.5cm} \\ \hspace{2.5cm}}\)  \(\phantom{\hspace{2.5cm} \\ \hspace{2.5cm}}\) 
Student Response
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Activity Synthesis
Consider asking:
 “Is anyone’s estimate less than \(\frac{1}{20}\)? Is anyone’s estimate greater than \(\frac{1}{4}\)?”
 “Based on this discussion does anyone want to revise their estimate?”
Activity 1: Handy Number Lines (20 minutes)
Narrative
In this activity, students examine number lines that have been partitioned into smaller and smaller parts. They see that this strategy can be used to generate many equivalent fractions and to verify if two fractions are equivalent.
Students encounter fractions with 5, 10, 15, and 20 for the denominator. Working with multiples of a number (in this case, 5) allows students to notice structure in how the partitioning of a part on a number line relates to equivalent fractions (MP7). (Students will not be assessed on fractions with denominator 15 or 20.)
If desired and logistically feasible, consider enacting Andre’s reasoning with one or more human number lines.
 Place a strip of masking tape or painter’s tape, at least 25 feet long, on the floor of the classroom or a hallway.
 Ask a student to stand on each end of the tape. They represent 0 and 1.
 “How can we partition this line into fifths?” (Position 4 students on the tape, spaced apart equally between 0 and 1.)
 Ask each student on the line to say the number they represent (0, \(\frac{1}{5}\), \(\frac{2}{5}\), \(\frac{3}{5}\), \(\frac{4}{5}\), 1). Give each student a sign with their fraction. (Consider distinguishing the sign for \(\frac{1}{5}\) with a different color.)
 Invite 5 students to join the line, each person standing exactly in the middle of two others.
 “What fraction do you represent now?” Ask every student to say the number they represent now (0, \(\frac{1}{10}\), \(\frac{2}{10}\), \(\frac{3}{10}\), . . . 1,). Give the student representing \(\frac{1}{5}\) another sign showing \(\frac{2}{10}\).
 Repeat a couple more times. Each time:
 Ask 5 additional students to each join a space between two students representing fifths. (The students representing fifths should stay in place, but, to maintain equal intervals, those representing smaller fractional parts may need to shift when others join the line.)
 Ask students to say aloud the number they represent.
 Give the student representing \(\frac{1}{5}\) another sign showing a new fraction they represent.
 “Can you explain why the student representing \(\frac{1}{5}\) also ends up representing \(\frac{2}{10}\), \(\frac{3}{15}\), and \(\frac{4}{20}\)?”
Advances: Listening, Speaking
Supports accessibility for: SocialEmotional Functioning, Attention
Required Materials
Materials to Gather
Required Preparation
 Consider creating a human number line by placing a strip of masking tape or painter’s tape, at least 25 feet long, on the floor of the classroom or a hallway.
Launch
 Groups of 2
 Read the opening paragraphs of the activity as a class.
 If possible, consider creating a human number line as outlined in the Activity Narrative.
Activity
 “Think quietly for a minute about the first problem. Then, discuss your thinking with a partner and work on the second and third problems together.”
 1 minute: quiet think time
 7–8 minutes: partner work time
 Monitor for students who:
 extend each number line past 1 whole to show \(\frac{6}{5}\), \(\frac{12}{10}\), \(\frac{18}{15}\), and \(\frac{24}{20}\)
 skipcount by the number in each numerator 6 times—by 2 to get to \(\frac{12}{10}\), by 3 to get to \(\frac{18}{15}\), and by 4 to get to \(\frac{24}{20}\).
 multiply the numerator (6) and the denominator (5) by 2, 3, and 4 to get \(\frac{12}{10}\), \(\frac{18}{15}\), and \(\frac{24}{20}\).
Student Facing
Andre used number lines to find fractions that are equivalent to \(\frac{1}{5}\). He drew this number line:
Then, he drew three more lines and wrote a fraction for the point on each line:
 How did Andre use the number lines to find fractions equivalent to \(\frac{1}{5}\)? Explain your thinking to a partner.

How can number lines be used to show whether the following fractions are equivalent?
 \(\frac{8}{10}\) and \(\frac{4}{5}\)
 \(\frac{14}{20}\) and \(\frac{4}{5}\)
 Find three fractions that are equivalent to \(\frac{6}{5}\). Explain or show how Andre’s number lines can help.
Student Response
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Activity Synthesis
 Invite a student to share their explanation of Andre’s strategy (first problem). Ask the class if they agree with the explanation or if they would amend it or explain it differently.
 Ask another student to show how the number lines could help us see if two fractions are equivalent (second problem).
 Select previously identified students to share their reasoning for the last problem. Record their reasoning.
 Solicit some initial impressions on how the strategies are alike and different, but save further comparisons for future lessons.
Activity 2: Can It Be Done? (15 minutes)
Narrative
In this activity, students continue to use the idea of partitioning a number line into smaller increments to reason about and generate equivalent fractions. Through repeated reasoning, students begin to see regularity in how the process of decomposing parts on a number line produces the numbers in the equivalent fractions (MP8). The task encourages students to think of the relationship between one denominator and the other in terms of factors or multiples (even if they don’t use those terms which connect to work in a previous unit).
Partitioning a number line into smaller parts becomes increasingly inconvenient when the denominator gets larger. As students begin to think about the relationship between tenths and hundredths, they see some practical limitations to using a number line to find equivalent fractions and are prompted to generalize the process of partitioning. (Students are not expected to draw a full number line with 100 parts.)
Launch
 Groups of 2
 Read the first problem as a class. Ask students to think quietly for a moment about whether what Priya wants to do can be done.
 30 seconds: quiet think time
 1 minute: partner discussion
Activity
 “Take about 7–8 quiet minutes to work on the task. Afterwards, discuss your responses with your partner.”
 7–8 minutes: independent work time
 2–3 minutes: partner discussion
 For the first problem, monitor for students who partition the lines by:
 guessing and checking
 reasoning multiplicatively (3 times what number gives 9, 10, or 12?) or in terms of multiples (Is 9, 10, or 12 a multiple of 3?)
 reasoning in terms of division (9 divided by 3 is what number?) or in terms of factors (Is 3 a factor of 9, 10, or 12?)
 For the second and third problem, monitor for students who find equivalent fractions for \(\frac{1}{10}\) by:
 partitioning the number lines into smaller increments quantifying the new number of parts
 finding multiples of 1 and 10, and using this strategy to write an equivalent fraction with denominator 100
Student Facing

Priya wants to find fractions that are equivalent to \(\frac{2}{3}\), other than \(\frac{4}{6}\). She wonders if she can find equivalent fractions with denominator 9, 10, and 12.
\(\frac{\phantom{000}}{9} \qquad \frac{\phantom{000}}{10} \qquad \frac{\phantom{000}}{12}\)
Can it be done? Use number lines to show your reasoning.

Represent \(\frac{1}{10}\) on a number line. Then, find two fractions that are equivalent to \(\frac{1}{10}\). How would you use the number line to show that they are equivalent to \(\frac{1}{10}\)?

Can you find an equivalent fraction for \(\frac{1}{10}\) with 100 for the denominator? Explain or show your reasoning.
Student Response
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Advancing Student Thinking
Activity Synthesis
 Invite previously identified students to share their strategies for answering the first two problems.
 If not done by students in their explanations, consider asking students to revoice their reasoning in terms of factors and multiples.
 See lesson synthesis.
Lesson Synthesis
Lesson Synthesis
“Today we used number lines and partitioning to help us write equivalent fractions and to tell if two fractions are equivalent.”
“How can number lines help us find equivalent fractions for, say, \(\frac{1}{10}\)?” (We can draw a number line showing tenths, and then partition the tenths into 2 parts, 3 parts, 4 parts, and so on.)
“There were times in the lesson when some of you chose not to use the number lines to find equivalent fractions or to tell if two fractions were equivalent. Why was that?” (Sample responses: It was not necessary. It’d take too long to draw all the tick marks. We could skip count, reason about the numbers mentally, or find multiples of the numbers in the fraction.)
“In upcoming lessons, we’ll continue to develop our strategies for finding equivalent fractions and checking if two fractions are equivalent.”
Cooldown: In Search of Equivalence (5 minutes)
CoolDown
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