## Lesson: Comparing and Ordering Fractions Introducing the Concept

Use models and diagrams to introduce this concept. Relate comparing and ordering fractions to comparing and ordering whole numbers, but don't overlook the added complication of the denominator.

Materials: student-made fraction kits, colored pencils or markers

Preparation: Provide each student with twelve pieces of precut wax-paper squares or cut 6-inch squares of tracing paper (they must be able to see through it).

Prerequisite Skills and Concepts: Students should be able to compare and order whole numbers. They should have a good grasp of what a fraction is and what its parts represent, and they should be able to write equivalent fractions.

• Say: Take one of your paper squares and carefully fold it in half. Color one of the parts.
• Ask: What part of your square is colored? What part is not colored?
(, )

Work with students to fold and color all of the remaining squares.

• Ask: What does one square represent?
Students should recognize that one square is one whole.
• Say: Hold up any square that you folded into four segments.
• Ask: What does one segment represent?
Students should identify one segment of the four equal-size segments as representing .
• Ask: If you're holding the fourths square in which you colored in two segments, what does the colored part represent?
Students should easily see that they colored two fourths.
• Ask: How do the fractions compare?
Students should notice that since the same portion of each square is colored in, equals .