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Fraction strips

Show an example of a fraction wall and explain that making a fraction wall will help to find equivalent fractions.

Working in small groups, students:

  • cut a sheet of A3 or A4 paper longways into several strips
  • establish that the length of the strip equals one whole
  • fold each strip into a specified number of equal parts (e.g. 2, 4 and 8) keeping one strip whole
  • check the number of parts and label them with fractions as if the strip was a number line.
Four horizontal strips of paper of equal length. First strip marked as one whole, the next folded in two and marked as halves, the next into quarters and the last into eighths.

A fraction wall.

The strips are placed together so the size of the fractions can be compared.

Students record pairs of equivalent fractions, writing each pair onto a separate card.

Students look for similarities and sort the cards into groups. They describe any patterns they notice.

For example, in all the equivalent fractions for \(\frac{1}{2}\) the denominator is multiplied by the same number as the numerator.

Cards marked with equivalent fractions.

Pairs of equivalent fractions.

Share the findings as a class and create a display of the fractions walls and equivalence cards.

Alternatively, each group could be invited to plan the set of fractions they want to represent.

Curriculum links

Year 4: Investigate equivalent fractions used in contexts