assess prior knowledge, invite students to reflect on the previous
lesson. Ask them to describe what they learned from creating fraction
strips and ideas for using them in practical ways.
To begin the lesson, have students take out their fraction
strips from the previous lesson. They will use them to compare
fractions on the Comparing and Ordering Fractions Activity Sheet.
Students should use their fraction strips to model each fraction
being compared. Fraction strips representing each fraction should be
lined up so that they can be compared directly.
For example, when comparing 1/2 and 2/4, the fractions should be modeled and lined up as follows:
Guide students through comparing another example or two from the Comparing and Ordering Fractions Activity Sheet.
When students feel confident with the task, ask them to continue
comparing fractions. Answers should be checked with a partner. Discuss
answers, and have students correct any responses that were incorrect.
Next, have students order their fractions by lining up each
set (1/2s, 1/3s, 1/4s, 1/6s, and 1/8s) with the “whole” strip. Place
the "whole" strip at the top, then the 1/2s underneath the “whole,”
then 1/3s, 1/4s, 1/6s, and 1/8s, respectively.
Have students record the order from greatest to least. Ask
them if they notice any patterns as the fractions get smaller. Prompt
students to notice that there is an inverse relationship between the
size of the fraction and the denominator when the numerator is one.
Students might express this concept as follows: As the
fractions get smaller, the denominator gets larger. Students should
record this relationship.
Ask students if they believe this
relationship always holds true. Have them investigate this question by
using their fraction strips to order the fractions in Part II of the Comparing and Ordering Fractions Activity Sheet. This sheet includes a variety of fractions where the numerator is not always one.
Students should come to the conclusion that this pattern only
consistently occurs when the numerator is constant. Discuss answers and
have students correct any responses that were incorrect.