Education Technology

Fractions / Comparing Units

Grade Level 3,4,5,6
Activity 15 of 15
This lesson helps students to understand that the size of a fraction will vary with the scale used to define a unit fraction.

Planning and Resources

Students understand that fractions do not necessarily come from the same whole, which can make a difference in what two fractions represent in terms of length or area.

scalar multiple

Standard: Search Standards Alignment


Lesson Snapshot


Students should understand the importance of recognizing the scale or size of the unit when working with fractions.

What to look for

Give students time to explore the file using different sized wholes and fractions. Encourage students to explain their reasoning for each of. their answers.

Sample Assessment

Petre had (1/3) of a 6-inch long candy bar and Sande had (1/2) of 4-inch candy bar. Who had the most candy?

Answer: Petre had 2 inches of his bar because (1/3) of 6 is 2. Sande had 2 inches of her candy bar because (1/2) of 4 is 2. So they had the same amount of candy.

The Big Idea

Without knowing what each refers to, (1/2) of one thing can be the same as, more than, or less than (1/2) of another.

What are the students doing?

Students will compare fractions from different-sized wholes.

What is the teacher doing?

Be sure students understand how the interaction with the number lines supports the mathematics. Discuss scale with students.