Comparing Fractions

Contributor: Meghan Vestal. Lesson ID: 10910

Which is larger, 9/27 or 1/3? What can a butterfly teach you about comparing fractions? Watch the video for answers, then use online games and a pizza box craft to practice how to compare fractions!


Fractions and Operations

learning style
personality style
Otter, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

  • Did you know 13 and 39 are equivalent, or same, fractions?

You may think that's impossible because those fractions do not look alike. But, fractions do not have to be written the same in order to represent the same amount.

In this lesson, you will learn a simple method for quickly comparing fractions and recognizing equivalent fractions.

Equivalent fractions are fractions that look different but represent the same amount.

For example, 12 and 24 look different, but they represent the same amount.

Sometimes, you will not have a model with you to help determine whether two fractions are equivalent. If this is the case, use the butterfly method to quickly compare two fractions.

To learn the butterfly method, watch The Butterfly Method for Comparing, Adding and Subtracting Fractions from Amy Harrison (below). Make sure to keep a piece of paper and pencil with you so you can follow along and practice while you watch the video:

Now that you have had the opportunity to model and compare fractions, think about why it is important to be able to compare fractions.

  • Do you compare fractions during your daily life?
  • How so?

You compare fractions all the time when you talk about food. Sometimes you have to compare the amounts of certain ingredients required to make a dish or you compare the portion size one person has to your portion size.

Be sure to pay attention to how you compare fractions today!

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