Susan C. Anthony

Fractions 3: Identifying Fractions


  • Several colored paper circles for the teacher to cut in half.
  • Student worksheets.

Note:  Words in green are words the teacher actually says.


  • Yesterday, we learned what a fraction is and how to name a fraction. Let's see if you remember. Show a whole circle, then fold it and cut it in half.
  • How much of the circle is this? (1/2: write it on the board)
  • What is the word for the bottom number of a fraction? (Denominator)
  • What does the denominator stand for? (The number of pieces a whole is cut into.)
  • What is the word for the top number of a fraction? (Numerator)
  • What does the numerator stand for? (The number of pieces you're talking about.)
  • So I cut this circle into two equal pieces and I have one. That's 1/2.
  • What is a fraction? (An equal part of a whole.)

Anticipatory Set:

Learning: Today we are going to identify and write the names of many fractions. # What are we going to do?

Purpose: You need to learn to work with fractions other than halves, thirds, and fourths, so you can work problems with all kinds of fractions. Why do you need to learn to work with fractions other than halves, thirds and fourths?

Transfer: You will use the same things you learned yesterday, only with other fractions. What will you learn?


  • Let's say I take this circle and cut it like this. Cut into fourths. How much is this? Hold up 1/4. How much is this? Hold up 3/4.
  • Now say I cut one like this. Cut into eighths. How many equal pieces have I cut it into? (Eight)
  • What number in a fraction tells me how many equal pieces I've cut it into, the numerator or the denominator? (Denominator) Write 8 on the board for the denominator.
  • How many pieces do I have? Hold up 3/8.
  • Does the numerator or the denominator tell me how many pieces I'm talking about? (Numerator) Write 3 for the numerator.
  • The final fraction is 3/8.
  • It works the same for all fractions. To find the denominator, look at how many equal pieces the whole had been divided into. To find the numerator, find how many pieces you're talking about.

Guided Practice

  • Now you will name and write fractions. What will you do?
  • I will give you a worksheet like this. Show worksheet. It has problems like this. Write a circle on the board divided into sixths, with 5 of the 6 pieces shaded.
  • Listen carefully to the directions: "Write the correct fraction for the shaded parts." What would be the answer for the problem on the board? (5/6) Do other examples as necessary until you're sure students understand what they're to do.

Circulate among the students during guided practice to make sure they understand. Congratulate those who are doing a good job.


  • Today you got better and faster at identifying and naming fractions. What did you do today?
  • What does the denominator stand for? (Number of equal pieces of the whole.)
  • What does the numerator stand for? (Number of pieces you are talking about.)

Go on to read Fractions 4: Shading in Fractions
Source:, ┬ęSusan C. Anthony