This lesson is part of a thematic unit on integrating literacy into mathematics.  The topic is fractions.

Title of Lesson

Fraction Story: Vocabulary


Third Grade Math



CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.1           Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b.

CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.2           Understand a fraction as a number on the number line; represent fractions on a number line diagram.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.4           Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.


I can: show and understand that fractions represent equal parts of a whole, where the top number is the part and the bottom number is the total number of parts in the whole.

I can: recognize and write simple fractions and explain their components using words.


Device or flashcards
Headphones or ear plugs
Paper and pencil
Math textbook
Diagram printout

Essential Question(s):

What are different types of fractions?
How are fractions used in our daily lives?

Inclusion Activity

5-10 minutes

This is our first lesson, so begin the activity by telling the students: “We will be working together over the next several weeks.  Our mini lessons are going to revolve around fractions and writing a fraction story.  But first, I need your help!  I need you to teach me what you know about fractions.”

Provide the diagram I have created (attached below) for a visual that the students can write on.  Each vocabulary word is depicted, so that the students may label the diagram with the correct terms.  (Optional: provide a word bank if the students miss any of the terms depicted).

As they work through the diagram, have the students compile a vocabulary list of terms relating to fractions that will be inputted into digital flashcards.  Discuss terms and their definitions, what they look like, and how they are used.  Have a math textbook on hand (or use the teacher’s provided anchor chart) to reference, just in case.

Using a device such as a laptop to access, enter the terms as they come up with them, including their definitions.  Be sure to guide them when necessary, as your premade cards will be sure to differ from their definitions (you don’t want them to be too different, but it is expected and good that wording varies slightly.  This will encourage complex thinking for literacy).

Sequence of Activities

Prepare: Using, prepare two sets of flashcards ahead of time.  You should have three rounds total, including the terms the students define on their own:

  • Definitions (with term as the answer)
  • Picture (with term as the answer)
  • Terms (with definition as the answer)

Also prepare a couple of tie-breaker cards that are number line questions (adapted to fit Mrs. Lang’s current lessons revolving around number lines).  Show a series of fractions on a number line with one highlighted to be guessed.

Be sure to have students turn in their diagrams momentarily before they start the game.

Activity (15-20 minutes): Divide into equal numbered teams.  Explain that the object of the game is to get as many flashcards correct.  The opposite team should wear headphones to make it fair (or ear plugs if headphones are not on hand).

Use a number line flashcard to choose who goes first (whoever raises their hand/gets it correct first).  Each team should then choose the order in which they’ll answer.  One student per turn gets to answer, in order.  Pace should be quick.  Teacher should keep tally of correct answers.

First round: Begin with the definition cards, where the definition is given and the students must guess the term.  Explain that the definitions may differ from what they’ve come up with, but the meaning should be the same – another way of describing the same term (literacy differentiation).  Once the round is complete,

Second round: Test using the term cards.  The students should be able to give a basic definition that does not have to match word-for-word with the given definition on the back of the cards.

Third round: Test using the picture cards.  For example: the numerator flashcard should have a fraction on the front with the numerator circled.  The students should identify that the answer is numerator.

If a tie-breaker is necessary, use the number line cards.

Optional: provide a prize or incentive for the winning team.  Or, for every correct answer (countable by your tally), give a piece of candy or one eraser from the dollar store bags of miniature erasers, etc.

Wrap-up (5 minutes):  Discuss with students the challenges of the game.  Was it difficult defining given terms?  What did they notice between my definitions and theirs?  Were there any words that stuck out to them and helps them to remember?  Which terms were the most difficult to remember?  Which method (of the three rounds) worked best for them?  (Compare and contrast the number right for each round).   Also, be sure to ask the students what they liked about the game and what they thought could be done differently.

Instructional Strategies

Learning groups/cooperative learning

Group discussion/brainstorming


Formative: Guiding the students through the Inclusion Activity where they define the terms.  Observe responses (ensure that each student has a chance to define 1-2 terms, respectively).

Summative:  Topic test


Variation in the number of terms allows for struggling and/or advanced learners.

Omit more difficult rounds.

Adding multiple choice answers to the flashcards.

Allowing students to work together to come up with answers.

Summary, Integration, and Reflection

Discussing as a team what worked and what didn’t work is a great way to reflect on the activities.  Also, allowing students to make their own flashcards based on what you came up with together in the Inclusion Activity can and should be done, to be helpful for future lessons.


Number line
Fraction (proper fraction)
Improper fraction
Whole number
Mixed fraction
Equivalent fraction
Unit fraction

fraction number line