Last Updated: Friday, April 29, 2022

Equivalent fractions, comparing fractions 2 - second level

What is this?

This is the second in a set of three activities. In this activity, you will help children explore ways to compare fractions. You can then help children use the concept of equivalent fractions to solve problems.

Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) experiences and outcomes: Second level

  • I have investigated how a set of equivalent fractions can be created, understanding the meaning of simplest form, and can apply my knowledge to compare and order the most commonly used fractions. (MTH 2-07c)

Purpose of the activity

When fractions have different denominators, it is important to be able to convert them to an equivalent form. This makes it easier to compare them. This practical activity will help children to develop this understanding.

Learning activities

Part 1

  • Begin by showing children two rectangles of the same size marked with different shaded sections. For example:

    Rectangle divided into quarters

Ask the children:

  • Is the same amount shaded in both rectangles?
  • What fraction is shaded in both rectangles?
  • What fraction is shaded in the first rectangle?
  • What fraction is shaded in the second rectangle?
  • Remind the children that these are called equivalent fractions.
  • Explain that ¾ is the
  • Continue these activities with other equivalent fractions to deepen children’s understanding of this concept.
  • This link will help you explain equivalent fractions to children

Part 2

In a shop selling baking ingredients, a range of products are sold in different sized bags. The items are:

  • Sugar – ⅙ kilogram
  • Self-raising flour – ½ kilogram
  • Plain flour – ⅓ kilogram
  • Sultanas – ⅕ kilogram
  • Raisins – ⅛ kilogram
  • Walnuts – ⅒ kilogram
  • Butter – ¼ kilogram
  • Ask the children to list the ingredients in order from the lightest to the heaviest.
  • A customer asks for a kilogram of each product.
  • Draw a picture to show how many bags of each item make a whole kilogram. For example, 10 bags of walnuts equal 1 kilogram.

Extension activity

  • Using different weights, ask the children to complete the questions within Part 2. For example, if a customer wanted half a kilogram of each item, how many bags would they need?

National benchmarks

  • Uses knowledge of equivalent forms of common fractions, decimal fractions and percentages, for example, = 0.75 = 75%, to solve problems.
  • Creates equivalent fractions and uses this knowledge to put a set of most commonly used fractions in order.
  • Expresses fractions in their simplest form.

Possible approach to assessing learning

  • Children should be encouraged to share ways of representing equivalent fractions with drawings or materials such as strips of paper.
  • Encourage the children to share questions and discuss how they found an answer.
  • The latest guidance from Education Scotland when planning approaches to assessment.