Math Drummer

Nesrine Hafez

Lesson Goals

1. Find the answer to one- and two- step word problems involving fractions with unlike denominators using related fractions.
2. Students should apply their understanding of equivalent fractions and their ability to rewrite fractions in an equivalent form to find common denominators.

Integrating Number Drummer with Standard 5.NF.1 to solve real word problems.


Use 2 grids either 1×4 or 1×8 ((c)Number Drummer INC), pencils, desks/ tables (using the top of desk & the metal side of the desk) use any two different materials (plastic & metal), colored pencils or markers, white boards.
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1. Divide the students into two equal groups.
2. Have the 1st group coloring the 1st grid every 2 boxes
3. Have the second group coloring the 2nd grid every 4 boxes
4. Students share their grids to make sure that they have the same boxes
5. Students use their pencils and desks as a tool for their beats, the 1st group
will beat every other box while the second group beat every 4 boxes.
6. Students will record their fractions on the whiteboard and show how many
beats each group has done.
7. Students will solve one step word problems where they find equivalent fractions, adding and subtracting fractions
8. Teachers move on to two steps word problems with unlike denominator as an extension.

Differentiation Approaches

Using one step word problem with students that need more solving problems skills. Two-step word problems for students that mastered the one step.


Using a rubric; solving 3/4 word problems correctly.

Follow Up and Extension Ideas

Changing the activity using a 1×16 grid. Another, using the activity as Visual Arts where students focus on coloring the grid and matching the beats. Use two different grids to represent unlike denominator e.g 1×6 and 1×8.

Additional Details

  • Grade Level: Fifth
  • Arts Content Area: Music
  • Non-Arts Content Area: Math
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