Fraction Game

Years 3 - 8


The rectangle model for exploring fractions is turned into a game. Sets of cards suitable for various whole rectangles need to be prepared and this can be done by the students. The card sets will always include the fractions formed by the rows. columns and individual cells. (See the activity Fractions, Plugs & a Calculator.) For some wholes it will also be possible to prepare cards for other fractions. For example in the twentieths game. The game is a simple card game aimed at completing the whole. Suitable for threading.


  • Pack of 'cards' marked with related fractions (eg: 1/2, 1/4, 1/5, 1/10, 1/20 - two or three of each makes a good pack)
  • Red Poly Plug board masked to the appropriate size for these fractions; in this case five rows of four

Note: This investigation has been included in Maths At Home. In this form it has fresh context and purpose and, in some cases, additional resources. Maths At Home activity plans encourage independent investigation through guided 'homework', or, for the teacher, can be an outline of a class investigation.
  • Visit the Home Page for more Background.
  • For this specific activity click the Learners link and on that page use Ctrl F (Cmd F on Mac) to search the task name.


This activity was contributed by Maree Anderson, Bev Sharp and Caroline Miller, Geeveston District High School, Tasmania.


  1. Prior to using the game, perhaps as part using the activity above, organise groups to make different wholes and the sets of cards that relate to them. These become a class set of game bags. Each bag includes one card stating the rows and columns of the whole chosen and the cards for all the fractions related to that whole.
  2. To start the game, a pair of players prepare their red board as described by the reference card in their bag.
  3. Shuffle the cards and place face down.
  4. Players take turns to select a card.
  5. The card states (in symbols or words) the fraction of the whole to fill with yellow/blue plugs,
    eg: if 1/4 is chosen, 1/4 of 20 = 5, so five holes are filled with plugs.
  6. Continue until the whole is exactly filled. Remembering each time that the fraction refers to the original whole, not the unfilled spaces in the board.
  7. When the cards run out, shuffle and continue playing.
  8. The winner is the first to fill the whole - children can decide whether it needs to be filled exactly with no 'left overs'.
  9. Using the cards and the picture, children record an equation which records how the whole was made,
    eg: 1/4 + 1/10 + ... + ... = 1
    Can you check this another way?
Another Twentieths Whole Note: The Twentieths Game could, and should, be played with both of these wholes. Whole of Twentieths


  • fraction calculations
  • fractions as an array
  • fractions as a partition of a whole
  • recording - written
  • visual representation of fractions


Twentieths Game
The first person selected
a card showing 1/4
The second person selected
a card showing 1/10


For more on Fractions
see the story
Fractions in Action.

Calculating Changes ... is a division of ... Mathematics Centre