Compare and order fractions, from halves to twelfths, in a variety of contexts.

Context

Students work in pairs, either in class or on a video conference chat.

Students should have previous experience with how comparing and ordering fractions, as well as how to properly refer to fractions (e.g., one-tenth instead of one over ten).

It is necessary to use ordinal numbers (e.g., fourth, fifth, sixth, etc.) when properly referring to fractions (e.g., one tenth) as one is referring to parts of a whole. Referring to fractions using cardinal numbers (e.g., one over ten) can refer to other mathematical operations (e.g., division).

1 standard 52-card deck, with jokers and face cards removed

Pencil

Paper

Online version

On Playingcards.io

Video conference capabilities

Lesson

Deal four cards to each player, leaving the rest of the cards in a pile facing down.

Each player uses all their cards to make two proper fractions.

Players then order their own fractions from least to greatest.

Once done, players show their fraction line-up to each other and check if it is correct. Each player then attempts to correctly name the other player’s fractions.

This marks the end of the round and points are tallied up. The player with the fraction closest to one will earn a point. If both players have fractions equally close to one (equivalent fractions), both players will earn a point.

Players then discard their cards into the discard pile and begin another round.

The first player to reach ten points wins.

Look Fors

Do students use the correct mathematical language to refer to their fractions (e.g., one-tenth not one over ten)?

How do children compare and determine the size of fractions? What strategies do they use (e.g., manipulatives, drawings, number lines)?

Extension

Once players have arranged their fractions from least to greatest, the player that taps the fraction closest to one wins the round.

Additional cards (e.g., 6 or 8 cards) can be dealt to each player per turn.

Players can be instructed to create both proper and/or improper fractions.

Players can be instructed to add, subtract, multiply or divide the fractions.

Players can combine cards and then order them from least to greatest, looking for any equivalent fractions.

Number of players can be increased so that students collaborate in teams to create and order fractions.