Maths KS2: Recognising and comparing fractions

Olivia and Hassan are enjoying themselves in a world made out of pizza and learn how to work with numerators and denominators in fractions.

When Hypatia appears and asks them to find out the common factors of 8 and 12, and challenges them further to multiply the denominator and numerator by this number, Olivia and Hassan worry that they won’t be able to do it.

However, by using the slices of pizza, they work out how to work with numerators and denominators in fractions.

This short animated film is from the BBC Teach series, Hypatia's Mathematical Maze.

Teacher Notes

Before watching the film

Prior to this lesson you may wish to introduce pupils to other relevant topics, for example:

  • Understanding that fractions need to have equal parts
  • Multiplication and division
  • Factors and multiples

During the film

Depending on your lesson’s focus you may wish to pause the film at certain points to check for understanding, asking questions such as:

  • What does the denominator express?
  • What does the numerator express?
  • Does a larger denominator mean a larger fraction? How do you know?

Final question:
Can you spot the odd one out? 4/8, 2/3, 3/9, 2/4, 6/18.

Answer to the final question:
2/3 is the odd one out as it cannot be simplified further.

Following on from the film

When looking at fractions as numbers, building fraction walls can help pupils understand about relative size and find equivalent fractions.

  • Sort fractions into three categories such as smaller than 1/3 , equal to 1/3 , larger than 1/3.
  • Place fractions along a number line between 0 and 1.

Curriculum Notes

This short film is suitable for teaching maths at KS2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 2nd Level in Scotland.

More from Hypatia's Mathematical Maze

Adding and subtracting using mental methods
Adding and subtracting using written methods
How and why we round numbers
Using addition and subtraction in multi-step problems
Multiplying by 10, 100 and 1000
Mental multiplication
Factors, multiples and primes
Multiplying using written methods
Dividing using written methods
Adding and subtracting fractions
Multiplying and dividing fractions