Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Fun with Fractions

Michelle Nivison


Do you have Fractionitis? This lesson plan will help you overcome this condition! Using fraction bars, you will learn to add fractions. You will soon be a Fraction Expert!


The student explains and demonstrates the addition and subtraction of common fractions using concrete materials, drawings, story problems, and algorithms.


- Fraction bar sets
- Fun with Fractions Rubric and Fun with Fractions Handout
- White boards
- Dry erase markers and erasers


1. Download the Fun with Fractions (Associated Files) and Fun with Fractions Rubric (Associated Files)
2. Make enough copies to ensure each student receives a rubric and a handout.
3. Gather enough fraction bars, white boards, dry erase markers and erasers so that each student or pair of students receives a set.


1. Tell the students that today they will work with their Elbow Partners to review adding fractions. (Elbow Partners are the students that sit next to one another.)

2. Model how to solve several addition fraction problems on the board, using fractions that do not add to more than one whole. Be sure to talk them through each step as you go. Show how to use the fraction bars to add the fractions. For example, for the problem 1/2 + 1/3, have the students put the "whole" bar in front of them. Have them put the 1/2 bar on the whole bar. Have them put the 1/3 bar on top of the whole bar. Now have them use the remaining fraction bars to figure out the size of the bar or bars that would cover the 1/2 and 1/3 bars. In this case it would be 5 of the 1/6 bars, since there is no bar that would cover the 1/2 and 1/3 by itself. Re-emphasize that 1/2 + 1/2 = 5/6. Write the algorithm next to the fraction bars to show what the mathematical equation would look like.

3. Give the students the Fun with Fractions Rubric. (See Associated Files)

4. Go through the criteria on the rubric with the students.

5. Tell the students they will demonstrate how to solve addition problems involving fractions.

6. Tell the students they will explain orally how to solve an addition problem involving fractions.

7. Pass out the fraction bars, white boards, dry erase markers, and erasers.

8. The students work with their Elbow Partner. One partner writes a
fraction addition problem on the whiteboard. The other partner demonstrates how to solve the problem using fraction bars.

9. The partners switch jobs.

10. The students work on this for approximately 15 minutes.

11. Pass out the Fun with Fractions Worksheet. (See Associated Files) Explain that the students will use their fraction bars to solve the problems on the handout. They work independently.

12. While the students are working on their handout, call the students, one at a time, to you to assess them.

13. Using the Fun with Fractions Rubric, formatively assess the student as he/she explains orally how to solve the addition fraction problems.

14. Review the results of the rubric with the student.

15. Collect all Fun with Fractions Worksheet and assess them for accuracy.

16. At a later date, reteach any students who do not show proficiency on either the rubric or the worksheet.


Note: This assessment is formative and not meant for mastery. This assessment only assesses the effects of addition of fractions, using concrete materials. Students have some familiarity with the concept from previous lessons.
Each student explains orally to the teacher the effects of addition of fraction. Each student demonstrates to the teacher proficiency with addition of fractions.
Using fraction bars, students demonstrate understanding of addition of fractions with 80% proficiency. Students explain orally to the teacher, the process of adding fractions. This will be assessed by the teacher, using a rubric.
Assessment Tool: Use Fun with Fractions Rubric (Associated Files) to measure quality and accuracy of the oral explanation and to provide feedback to each student.
Use the Fun with Fractions Worksheet (Associated Files) to assess the accuracy of the studentsí demonstrations.


1. Gifted students may begin to work on addition of fractions with mixed fractions.
2. ESE and ESOL students may need to remediate using only fractions that will not add into whole numbers.
3. Any students having difficulties could use the Web Link sited below to practice working with fractions.

Web Links

This is a site where students/parents can make their own math worksheets for additional practice.
Make Your Own Worksheets

Attached Files

Fun with Fractions Rubric     File Extension: pdf

Fun with Fractions Worksheet     File Extension: pdf

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