Math Project-Based Learning: Add Fractions Unlike Denominators | 5th Grade Math


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This 5-day project-based math resource applies math concepts in a real-world scenario to teach students about adding fractions with unlike denominators. In this 5-day unit, students will add fractions with unlike denominators to open a smoothie shop. This fraction math project is engaging and authentic. Plus, it’s available as both a digital and print resource.


This project-based math resource covers concepts of time measurement and is aligned with the following 5th Grade Math Common Core State Standards:

Add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators (including mixed numbers) by replacing given fractions with equivalent fractions in such a way as to produce an equivalent sum or difference of fractions with like denominators. For example, 2/3 + 5/4 = 8/12 + 15/12 = 23/12. (In general, a/b + c/d = (ad + bc)/bd.)


Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions referring to the same whole, including cases of unlike denominators, e.g., by using visual fraction models or equations to represent the problem. Use benchmark fractions and number sense of fractions to estimate mentally and assess the reasonableness of answers. For example, recognize an incorrect result 2/5 + 1/2 = 3/7, by observing that 3/7 < 1/2.


This resource is available in both Printable & Digital Google Slides versions.


What’s included in this resource:

  • Background Knowledge: Using a KWL, students will build background knowledge around smoothie shops and how they operate.
  • Adding Fractions: Using the included instructional pages, students will learn how to add fractions by finding the lowest common denominator.
  • Choose Menu Items: Students will apply concepts of fraction addition to determine the total amount needed of each ingredient used in the menu.
  • Adding Mixed Numbers: Using the included instructional pages, students will learn how to add mixed numbers and simplify them to lowest terms.
  • Plan An Opening: Students will calculate the total number of each smoothie to prepare for the opening of the shop.
  • Calculate Totals: Using concepts of fraction addition, students will determine the total amount needed to create 10 smoothies.
  • Comparing Fractions: Using the included instructional pages, students will learn how to compare fractions.
  • Make a Shopping List: Students will apply concepts of comparing fractions to compare the amount needed of each ingredient to the amount in one package, and determine how many packages of each ingredient to purchase.
  • Finalize Menu: Students will design the final menu and create catchy names for each smoothie type.
  • Wrap Up: Students will write up their final smoothie shop plan and explain their decisions.



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CCSS Standards: ,

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