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National Curriculum: Fractions (including decimals and percentages) - Year 6 - Activities

Created on 15 October 2013 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 09 October 2017 by ncetm_administrator


Programme of Study statements Activities
Use common factors to simplify fractions; use common multiples to express fractions in the same denomination bullet            
Compare and order fractions, including fractions >1   bullet          
Associate a fraction with division and calculate decimal fraction equivalents [for example, 0.375] for a simple fraction [ for example, 38 ]     bullet        
Add and subtract fractions with different denominators and mixed numbers, using the concept of equivalent fractions       bullet      
Multiply simple pairs of proper fractions, writing the answer in its simplest form [ for example, ¼ × ½ = 18 ]       bullet bullet    
Divide proper fractions by whole numbers [ for example, ⅓ ÷ 2 = 16 ]           bullet  
Identify the value of each digit to three decimal places and multiply and divide numbers by 10, 100 and 1000 where the answers are up to three decimal places             bullet

Activity A : Factors and Multiples Game

This game from Nrich could replace standard practice exercises on finding factors and multiples. In order to play strategically, pupils must start to think of numbers in terms of their factors

Activity B(i) : Rod Fractions

Compare a series of coloured rods and the relationships between them with this clearly presented Nrich activity

Activity B(ii) : Laundry Line

This activity features a laundry line with ‘fraction washing.’ The aim is to hang the fractions on the line in the right order between 0 and 1. Once a game has been completed, you can raise the level of difficulty.

hanging washing on the washing line

Activity B(iii) : Chocolate

Using chocolate bars to compare fractions – a context guaranteed to keep them focused!


Activity C : Fraction strips

The ‘Fractions’ Interactive Teaching Programme, allows the user to divide a strip into equal parts and colour them as needed. Strips can be labelled as a fraction, decimal or percentage. The ratio of parts can also be displayed. Multiple strips can be created to demonstrate equivalence.

Activity D(i) : Clock Faces

Give children the chance to explore clock faces as a way of representing time. Talk about 5 minute sectors of the clock being equivalent to twelfths, ten minute sectors to sixths, fifteen minute chunks to quarters etc…

Use this to support them in adding 20 minutes plus 15 minutes as 1/3 + 1/4

Activity D(ii) : Andy’s Marbles

This challenging activity from Nrich requires children to use their conceptual understanding of fractions, and their sums, to determine the answer to Andy’s marble problem


Activity D(iii) – Soccer Shoot Out

Score and save goals by correctly answering fraction based calculations. A range of difficulty levels makes this game easy to adapt.


Activity E(i) : Folding ribbons

Show the children a lengths of ribbon (or string) measuring 3/4 metre in length. Fold it into three parts. What fraction of the ribbon have we found? ( 1/3 ). Measure the folded piece together. How long is it? ( 1/4 m). So, 1/3 of 3/4 or 1/3 x 3/4 = 1/4.

Try this with other fractions and starting lengths.

Activity E(ii) – ratio tables

Ask children to use their multiplication tables to scale recipe quantities up and down to complete the table below. Consider their multiplication of simple fractions for quantities of vanilla extract and chocolate chips.

Ingredients 3
Self- raising flour     130 gm   260 gm
Caster Sugar     100 gm    
Butter     125 gm    
Large Eggs     2    
Vanilla extract     ½ teaspoonful   1 teaspoonful
Chocolate chips     ¾ cupful    

Activity F(i) - Pizzas

This pizza themed fraction resource from the TES can be used in many different ways, and includes several suggestions from the author.

Activity F(ii) – Planetary Wars

Published by BEAM, and hosted within the National STEM Centre E-library, this two-player dice game requires children to find fractional quantities of numbers.

Activity G – Decimal Point Chair

When multiplying or dividing by powers of ten, the key issue to emphasise in many classrooms is that it is not the decimal point which moves, but the digits of the number. Prepare a range of cards to include several zeros, a decimal point and two whole numbers [e.g. 2 and 7]. Give a group of children one card each and ask the child with the decimal point to sit in the middle of a row of chairs, facing the class. Ask the 2 children with the cards with whole numbers to choose a chair to sit on, leaving no empty chairs between them and the decimal point. Explore ways to do this. Then introduce one zero in various places and talk about the numbers created. Add a second zero and do the same. Move on to asking the children to decide what happens to the number created if we multiply or divide by 10, then 100, then 1000 – emphasise that the decimal point must not move. Ask children to consider ways in which they might record this.

For a similar activity visit the National Stem Centre E-library, for the Interactive Teaching Programme ‘Moving Digits’

Please note that you will need to log in to this site in order to access the materials. This is free and simple to do.

Useful Resources

Activity B(i) - coloured rods

Activity B(iii) – several bars of chocolate

Activity D(i) – analogue clocks

Activity D(ii) – marbles

Activity E(i) – ribbon/string, tape measures, scissors


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