You may have already looked at fraction bars, so let's watch a video to learn more about them.

Representing fractions

We use fractions when we are dividing something evenly:

Fraction bars give a visual representation

We divide the bar into equal parts

The denominator (the bottom number of the fraction) shows how many equal part

We shade parts to show the value we are representing

The numerator (the top number of the fraction) shows how many parts to shade

Example:

To draw a fraction bar for $\frac{5}{8}$58. We divide the bar into $8$8 equal parts and then shade in $5$5 of them.

Fraction bars are useful for understanding the value of a fraction. They can also be used for comparing fractions and, later, adding and subtracting fractions. It is important to be able to imagine a fraction bar for any fraction.

Remember!

The denominator (bottom number) is the number of equal parts to make the whole.

The numerator (top number) is the number of parts showing the value of the fraction.

Try these practice questions with fraction bars, remember to think about how many parts make the whole with each question.

Worked examples

question 1

Which of the following shows $\frac{1}{4}$14 on the fraction bar?

A

B

C

D

question 2

Below is a fraction bar. The size of the whole is shown.

What is the fraction of the coloured piece?

Whole

$\frac{2}{3}$23

A

$\frac{3}{4}$34

B

$\frac{1}{4}$14

C

$\frac{1}{3}$13

D

question 3

We are going to represent the fraction $\frac{1}{8}$18 on a fraction bar diagram.

How many parts do we divide the bar up into?

We divide the bar into $\editable{}$ equal sized parts.

Here is the fraction bar split into eight parts.

Which of the following represents $\frac{1}{8}$18 on the fraction bar?

A

B

C

D

How big is the remaining part?

The remaining part is $\frac{\editable{}}{\editable{}}$ of the whole.

Outcomes

5.NN1.05

Represent, compare, and order fractional amounts with like denominators, including proper and improper fractions and mixed numbers, using a variety of tools (e.g., fraction circles, Cuisenaire rods, number lines) and using standard fractional notation