Lesson 4

Situations about Multiplying Fractions

Lesson Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is for students to represent the product of a unit fraction and a non-unit fraction with a diagram.

Lesson Narrative

In previous lessons, students used a diagram to visualize quantities, write a multiplication expression, and find the value of the product. This lesson uses the context of a park to encourage students to use an area diagram. After using the diagram to create an expression in the first activity, students work in the other direction in the second activity, finding which part of the park is represented by different expressions. Throughout the lesson, students observe that the methods that helped them find products of unit fractions also work when one of those fractions is not a unit fraction. 

Because these problems are in context, the area diagrams do not have the side lengths labeled. This means that students are finding the fraction of the park, rather than the area of a given section. Although this difference is small, it is helpful for teachers to be consistent about the difference in what the diagram represents when it does not have labeled side lengths.

  • Action and Expression
  • MLR8

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Represent and solve problems involving multiplication of a unit fraction and a non-unit fraction.

Student Facing

  • Let’s solve problems about multiplying unit fractions.

Required Preparation

CCSS Standards


Building Towards

Lesson Timeline

Warm-up 10 min
Activity 1 20 min
Activity 2 15 min
Lesson Synthesis 10 min
Cool-down 5 min

Teacher Reflection Questions

If you were to teach this lesson over again, what activity would you redo? How would your proposed changes support student learning?

Suggested Centers

  • Rolling for Fractions (3–5), Stage 4: Multiply Fractions (Addressing)
  • Five in a Row: Multiplication (3–5), Stage 4: Three Factors (Supporting)

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