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Improper Fractions Activities & Games

Instructor: Tawnya Eash

Tawnya has a master's degree in early childhood education and teaches all subjects at an elementary school.

If your students are learning about ways to create, use, and convert improper fractions, they might need some fun activities to keep them engaged. Check out this lesson for various ideas on how to teach your students more about improper fractions through the use of activities and games.

Improper Fractions

Your students may be starting to understand fractions, but then, all of a sudden, improper fractions are thrown in the mix! Don't let that confuse them! This lesson includes activities and games that'll help your students gain a deeper understanding of improper fractions, including how they're formed, applied, and used for creating mixed numbers. Feel free to adapt any idea to better meet your needs.

Activities

Hop In for Improper Fractions!

Students will get to see what an improper fraction looks like and what it means through this engaging activity.

Materials:

  • 12 Hula hoops
  • 2 Dice
  • 20-30 Fraction cards
    • Numerator will be 1 for each card. The denominator could be any amount.
    • Example: 1/4, 1/5, 1/8, 1/12, etc.
    • Can be hand-made

Procedure (whole class activity):

  • Set up hula hoops in front or in the middle of the classroom. Explain that they represent a whole number.
  • Fraction cards will be shuffled and placed upside down on a desk near the hula hoops.
  • Begin going step-by-step to show students how the activity works.
  • One student chooses a fraction card. This is the fractional amount that each student represents.
  • Then, another student rolls the dice and adds the amounts together to determine the numerator.
  • Finally, students will have to demonstrate how many hula hoops get filled up as wholes. Students will then hop in to a hoop!
  • Example:
    • Fraction card = 1/5
    • Dice roll 2 + 6 = 8
    • Improper fraction = 8/5
    • 5 students will fill up one hula hoop. 3 students will be left. Students will see how 8/5 is actually the same as 1 and 3/5.
  • Continue activity until allotted time is up. Encourage students to talk among one another to work through the activity.
  • Explain that sometimes students may get just a regular fraction and that's okay!
  • Be sure that all students get a chance to participate.

Extra Challenge:

  • When students seem to be understanding improper fractions and mixed numbers, add another piece to the discussion. Ask students how many more students are needed to create a new whole. Example: 8/5 makes 1 whole and 3/5 of another. You need 2 more students to create 2 wholes. That would be 10/5 = 2.

Informative Poster

Students get to construct a visual to help understand the meaning of improper fractions.

Materials:

  • Poster board or large construction paper
  • Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
  • Use of computers and technology, if available

Procedure:

  • Students will work individually or with a partner.
  • Review examples and the meaning of improper fractions as a whole class.
  • Explain that students will create a poster or other visual aid to explain improper fractions.
  • Students may create their visual aid by hand or with the use of computer programs (Paint, Microsoft Word, Google Slides, etc.).
  • Each visual aid must include the following:
    • Definition of improper fractions
    • At least three examples of improper fractions
    • Pictures as a model for each improper fraction (pizza, cookies, etc.)
  • Allow time for students to create the visual aid.
  • Students will display their visual aid in the classroom.

Games

Improper Hit

Students get to show what they know about improper fractions with this fun water game!

Prepared Materials:

  • Section of chalkboard or white board with a grid of 25 improper fractions (5 by 5)
    • Can even use a large roll of brown paper and write with chalk
  • 25 Cards with pictures of matching improper fractions
    • Create cards using technology or by hand
    • Example: 8/6 could be shown using circles, pizzas, etc.
    • You could use these cards again in the game Pick a Match!
  • Sponge
  • Small bucket of water

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