These visual fractions activities, complete with printable fractions anchor chart, really help children understand fractions.
Visual fractions activities with printable fractions anchor chart
Children need to work with concrete math experiences to build their skills. Before we can move on to mental math, abstract mathematical concepts, and ‘doing things in our head’, we need to see and handle real things.
These visual fractions activities really help children get a proper understanding of what fractions mean and how they compare to each other.
:: understand what fractions are
:: compare fractions to a whole
:: compare fractions to other fractions
:: understand how different fractions can add up to a whole
:: use art in combination with math for a fun and effective STEAM lesson
How to use the visual fractions anchor chart printable
Print the visual fractions sheets – see below for details.
Print on card if possible, to make it easier to play with the fractions later.
There are three fractions sheets included in the printable:
:: one sheet that creates this fractions anchor chart jigsaw
:: one sheet that works on halves in shapes – see here for more details of this printable
:: one sheet that works on quarters in shapes – see here for more details of this printable
You will also need coloured pens or pencils, and scissors.
Begin by colouring in your anchor chart.
You will see that it has ten rows.
Each row is divided into a different set of fractions.
The first row shows a whole. The second row is split into halves. The third row is split into thirds, the fourth into quarters, and so on until the final row which is divided into tenths.
Use your pens and pencils to colour in each row. You need each row to be a different colour/pattern to the others. Colour all the fractions along a row in the same colour / pattern.
When you have coloured in your anchor chart, take a moment to lie a pencil along the central line of the chart. Notice how the half row is split equally in two, with one fraction on either side of the pencil.
Which other rows of fractions split evenly into two sets of complete fractions along this central line? Do the thirds? Do the fourths?
Then cut out your fractions. Cut out the rows and the individual fractions that form each row.
Jumble up your fractions and then see how fast you can re-build your anchor chart. Maybe you could race a friend?
Place the ‘whole’ row at the top. All the other rows need to be the same width as this whole row.
Notice how many of each fraction are needed to complete a whole row. How many thirds do you need? How many eighths?
For more of a challenge, jumble up your fraction pieces again. This time, see if you can build whole rows using a mix of different fractions.
How can you combine a half and some quarters to make a whole row?
Start another row with fifths and see what other fractions you can use to complete the row.
Work with a partner. Start off a row for the other person to complete.
Take a look at the rows you have built. Do you notice any patterns between the types of fractions you can combine together to make a whole row?
You can also use your anchor chart to compare the size of fractions.
It’s not easy at first to know whether you’d like a sixth of a pizza or an eighth of a pizza. Which is bigger?
Use your visual fractions to get to know the different sizes of fractions and how they compare.
Ask each other questions and see if you can always pick the bigger fraction. (Would you prefer a sixth or an eight? Would you prefer three sixths or two fifths?)
You can use your visual fraction pieces to help you work out the difference until you become more familiar and able to answer without the visual reference.
More fractions activities and printables
Looking for more fraction lesson ideas? Try these fractions activities too:
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