What Fraction of the Section Does Each Person Own?

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SWBAT: • Determine fractions that represent portions of land • Develop strategies for combining fractions

Big Idea

What fraction of the section of land does each person own? Students use an area model of farmland to determine how much land each person owns.

Do Now

7 minutes

See my Do Now in my Strategy folder that explains my beginning of class routines.

Often, I create do nows that have problems that connect to the task that students will be working on that day.  Today I want students to start thinking about strategies to find a fraction that represents a portion of a shape.  These rectangles are taken from Investigation 2 of Bits and Pieces II in Connected Mathematics 2.  

Some students may break number one into sixths.  Other students may recognize that 2 and 3 each represent 1/3.    

Students participate in a Think Pair Share.  I call on students to share out their thinking.  For problem 1 I declare, “I think number 1 represents ¼ because it is one of 4 pieces of the rectangle.  I want students to articulate that yes, there are 4 pieces of the rectangle, but they are not equal.  I ask students, “If the whole rectangle represented a cake, and I cut myself section 2 and gave you section 1, would you be satisfied?”

I also ask students who is correct for problem one if one student says section 2 represents 1/3 of the rectangle and another person says it represents 2/6.  I want students to apply their knowledge of equivalent fractions and recognize that they are equal.  


What fraction of a section does each person own?

5 minutes


  • I use the data from the Fractions Pretest to Create Homogeneous Groups.
  • Each student gets 2 different colored markers.  They use one marker to trace over the boundaries of a section.  This way they can clearly see the boundaries when they are splitting up the land.
  • I have rulers ready if students request them.  I also make extra copies of the Land Sections sheet in case students need to start over.


I have students move into their groups.  I have a volunteer read about Tupelo Township.  This problem comes from Connected Mathematics 2's Bits and Pieces II Investigation 2.  I read students their job and I show them a copy of the Land Sections sheet under the document camera.

I ask students the following questions:

  • How many sections of land are being talked about in this problem?
  • How many acres are in one section?
  • Does anyone own an entire section?
  • Who do you think owns the largest piece of a section?
  • What fraction of a section does Lapp own?

 With these questions I am ensuring that students understand what a section is and what they know about each section.  I want students to recognize that Lapp owns ¼ of a section.  I have volunteers pass out the Group Work Rubric and the Land Sections sheets.  

Group Work

38 minutes

As students work, I walk around and monitor student progress and behavior.  I make sure that groups check in with me when they have answers to problem 1, before moving on to the other problems.  Students are engaging in MP1: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them and MP4: Model with mathematics

Some students may struggle in finding a common denominator.  If this is the case, I have them return to the do now problems.  What did you do for these problems?  Why?  How can you apply that to the land sections?  Some students may struggle with combining fractions.  For problem 2, I ask students to explain what they need to do.  Why?  What do you know about combining fractions?  I want students to recognize that they must have common denominators in order to combine Fuentes’ land with Theule’s land.

If groups successfully complete the questions they can move on to the challenge questions.

Closure and Homework

10 minutes

 For Closure I ask students, I ask groups to share out their strategies for finding a fraction that represented the amount of a section each person owned.  If two groups present different fractions for the same person, I ask students which group is correct and why.  In many cases the fractions will be equivalent, making both groups right.

Then I ask students how they combined fractions for problem 2.  I have different groups share out their strategies and I ask students to comment on whether they think the group’s strategy is reasonable.  Students are engaging in MP3: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others

Instead of giving a ticket to go, I collect students’ work to look at.  Then I pass out the HW What fraction of the section does each person own.