Lesson 9

Differences of Fractions

Lesson Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is for students to use a number line to reason about subtraction of fractions with the same denominator.

Lesson Narrative

Previously, students decomposed fractions into sums of other fractions and wrote equations to record the decompositions. They also used number lines to reason about addition of fractions with the same denominator. In this lesson, students use number lines to think about differences of fractions with the same denominator. They also practice reasoning about equivalence and decomposing fractions (including mixed numbers) mentally to facilitate subtraction.

As in earlier grades, students may think about subtracting as taking away a number from another number, or as finding an unknown addend. The way they represent differences of fractions on a number line may vary accordingly.

  • Engagement
  • MLR8

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Reason about subtraction of fractions with the same denominator using a number line.

Student Facing

  • Let’s explore differences of fractions on a number line.

Required Materials

Materials to Copy

  • Make a Jump, Subtraction Edition

Required Preparation

Activity 3:

  • Create a set of cards from the blackline master for each group of 2.

CCSS Standards


Lesson Timeline

Warm-up 10 min
Activity 1 20 min
Activity 2 15 min
Activity 3 15 min
Lesson Synthesis 10 min
Cool-down 5 min

Teacher Reflection Questions

Based on students’ work today, what did you learn about their understanding of the relationships between addition and subtraction? How will you use these insights to prepare for upcoming work?

Suggested Centers

  • Rolling for Fractions (3–5), Stage 2: Multiply a Fraction by a Whole Number (Addressing)
  • Estimate and Measure (1–4), Stage 3: Quarter Inches (Supporting)
  • Target Measurements (2–5), Stage 2: Quarter Inches (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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