Order Fractions

Junior (Age 9 – 12)

Curriculum Goal

Junior: Number Sense

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


  • 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).


In-person version

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

Online version

  • On Playingcards.io
  • Video conference capabilities


  • 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)?


  • 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.

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