Introducing Equivalent Fractions using Equal Sharing Problems

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In this blog post I will share with you 3 word problems you can use with your students when introducing fraction equivalence. Put away those manipulatives for this lesson. Students will only need their pencil and paper 🙂

Practice Problem #1: Whole-Group Instruction

These word problems are perfect as a whole group introduction to equivalent fractions. Do not tell students this is what you’re looking for.

  1. Give each student a copy of the word problem
  2. Display the word problem on a projector or write it on board/chart paper
  3. Students must draw a picture that shows how they came to their solution
  4. Students share their solutions

Problem 1: There are 6 sandwiches for 4 children to share equally. How much sandwich will each child get?

Be sure to keep an eye out for students with different but equivalent solutions. Students should come up with 1 2/4, 1 1/2, or 6/4.

Ask the students if these amounts are the same. Have them explain their thinking.

Equivalent Solutions: 1 1/2, 1 2/4, 6/4

Practice Problem #2: Focused Practice

Students have now discussed how different fractions can be equivalent. In this second problem, encourage students to find two ways to write the solution. Have students discuss how the different answers are indeed the same amounts.

Problem 2: Six children equally share 4 cookies. How much cookie will each child get?

Introduction to Equivalent Fractions. Use this FREE lesson to introduce students to fraction equivalence. FREE fractions activity. Download the free resource.
Equivalent Fractions: 4/6, 2/3

Practice Problem #3: Exit Ticket

Use this last problem as an exit ticket. Students are to complete this on their own without assistance. Again, encourage students to write the solution in multiple ways. Collect and use this as a way to group students for future lessons during small groups.

Problem 3: There are 4 medium pizzas for 12 children to share equally. Ho much pizza will each child get?

Introduction to Equivalent Fractions. Use this FREE lesson to introduce students to fraction equivalence. FREE fractions activity. Download the free resource.
Equivalent Fractions: 1/3, 2/6, 4/12

Area Model Examples

The most common way for students to show their work is to draw area models. Encourage students to show their work using different shapes.

You partition a circle into thirds very differently from a square. Partitioning a rectangle into twelfths is simpler than trying to partition a circle into 12 equal pieces.

Using graph paper also helps with drawing area models. I always buy a class set of composition notebooks with graph paper at Target during the back to school sale. They are each $0.50! You can also print graph paper.

Are you ready to introduce equivalent fractions? Maybe you’ve introduced them to your students already, but they need a review.


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Continue Your Instruction!

Now that you’ve introduced equivalent fractions, you’re students are ready for independent practice. Click on each image to learn more.

Interactive Math Centers: These math slides are perfect for an interactive white board or Google Classroom assignment. Google Slides and PowerPoint versions are included.

Digital Interactive Equivalent Fractions Practice for Third Grade Math Centers Digital Interactive Equivalent Fractions Practice for Fourth Grade Math Centers

Math Sorts: These no-prep centers are a student favorite! Students cut and organize math cards into categories. Math sorts are the perfect partner activity 🙂

Fractions Third Grade Math Activities for Math Centers. Math Sorts to Practice Fractions. Fractions Fourth Grade Math Activities for Math Centers. Math Sorts to Practice Fractions.

What’s next?

Want more fractions resources? Check out the following blog posts 🙂

Mrs. Santillana

Mrs. Santillana

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2 thoughts on “Introducing Equivalent Fractions using Equal Sharing Problems”

  1. Hello
    I love this activity, however, the download is for a different lesson? Could you please kindly make available the correct download? Thank you

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