Ordering Fractions on a Number Line

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Students will be able to model fractions using a number line.

Big Idea

Inches to Number line, fractions are easy!


15 minutes

This lesson focuses on using a number line to order fractions.  Students will begin with a number talk discussion and then move on to a partner practice investigation for putting fractions on a number line.  The lesson ends with an exit slip to check for understanding of fractional models. 

To begin this lesson I display a photograph of a ruler with a piece of metal lined up on it.  I ask students to think about the picture and discuss it with their neighbor.  After a few minutes I bring the students back to the whole group and ask students to share out their observations.  I was careful not to ask students directly, what is the length of the metal piece.  I want them to look deeper into the picture and use the tools that have been given to them(MP 5).  I want them to not only see the length of the piece but I want them to observe what the tool of measurement is, how the tool is divided into fractional parts, etc. 


30 minutes

In the second portion of the lesson students will be working with a partner to complete the Ordering Fractions using a number line activity.  Students will begin by using their whiteboards to order the fractions and check for accuracy with their neighbor.  The students will then put the fractions on the number line provided on the worksheet. 

Students will have to attend to precision(MP 6) when comparing answers with their neighbor.  It is important that students are able to communicate their knowledge of fraction parts. 

As students complete the investigation with a partner I circulate the room to help students that are struggling with the number line concept.


15 minutes

In order to check for understanding of students’ knowledge of fraction models thus far, I have them complete an exit slip so I can monitor their progress.  I have them use a quarter or half size sheet of notebook paper for their response.  I write the question on the board and allow them a few minutes to work.

Draw a model to show 3/4 using:  fraction stick and number line.

The student response to this question provides me with sufficient information as to identify students who are still struggling with the concept of drawing fraction models.