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100+ Fun Butterfly Math Method Problems | Free Worksheets

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The “butterfly method” is used for comparing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions. Using these free worksheets of butterfly math methods, student will have a firm hold on fraction related basic math operations.

4 Free Worksheets on Butterfly Math Method

Let’s use the worksheets below which are about a few fun activities to practice the butterfly math method.

Butterfly Math Method Problems Box Image_01

Adding and Subtracting

Worksheet #1 Worksheet #2


Worksheet #2


Worksheet #3

Comparing Fractions

Worksheet #4

Three Fractions

Worksheet #5

Understanding the Butterfly Math Method: Step-Wise Explanation

The butterfly math method comes with a helpful visual that might aid kids in remembering how to use it. One needs to follow a few steps in order to use this method to solve any problem, like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Step 1:

  • As usual, write the fractions side by side.

Write the Fractions Side by Side

  • Draw two wings, following the diagonals formed by the numerator of one fraction and the denominator of the other.

Draw Two Wings

  • Draw one antenna on both sides.

Draw One Antenna on Both Sides Step 2:

  • Multiply the numbers in the first oval, then note the result in one antenna.

Multiply the Numbers in the First Oval

  • Multiply the numbers in the second oval, then note the result in another antenna.

Multiply the Numbers in the Second Oval

  • Multiply the two bottom wings together and add a tail to complete the butterfly. The result will be the denominator.

Add a Tail to Complete the Butterfly Step 3:

  • To create the numerator, combine or subtract the two antennae numbers.

Combine or Subtract the Two Antennae Numbers

  • Write the outcome.

Write the Outcome

  • Then simplify the outcome if required.

However, for multiplication or division, you must multiply both denominators to get the final denominator and both numerators to get the final numerator after finishing the third step.

For comparison, After finishing the fifth step, you should compare the numerators. Then type the corresponding sign (, >, =).

The following image explains all the steps for adding fractions using the butterfly math approach. It will help you understand the butterfly math method.

Understanding the Butterfly Math Method Step Wise Explanation

Advantages of the Butterfly Method

The advantages of the butterfly math method are numerous. Some advantages are-

  • Simple and easy to understand.
  • Encourages kids to understand fractions conceptually.
  • Students are attracted to visual illustrations.
  • The visual strategy may be simpler for youngsters to remember.
  • Improve pedagogy abilities.

4 Fun Activities on Butterfly Math Methods

Here are 4 interactive activities on butterfly math methods

Adding and Subtracting Fractions with the Butterfly Math Method

The butterfly math method for adding and subtracting fractions goes through those processes in the image below

In the previous image, we saw the process of adding fractions with the butterfly math method. Now, we’ll see the butterfly math method process to subtract fractions in the following image.

Adding and Subtracting Fractions with the Butterfly Math Method

Now practice the activity from the following worksheet.

Use Butterfly Math Method for Multiplication

Multiplying fractions is handled differently from addition and subtraction in the butterfly math approach. The steps are explained below in the image

Use Butterfly Math Method for Multiplication A worksheet related to this activity is attached below.

Use Butterfly Math Method for Division

The process of division of fractions is similar to multiplication in the butterfly math method. The steps are explained below graphically

Use Butterfly Math Method for Division Solve the worksheet below.

Apply Butterfly Math Method for Comparing Fractions

The steps for using the butterfly method to compare fractions are as follows in the image

Apply Butterfly Math Method for Comparing Fractions Worksheets related to the previous discussion can be found in the section below.

Butterfly Math Method for 3 Fractions

Now we will do the butterfly math method for 3 fractions. The procedure is the same as what was previously discussed. However, you must first compute the first two fractions, and then calculate the output with the third one. Then you will find the final output. Practice the exercise from the next worksheet.


Reasons Why You Should Not Use Butterfly Math Method

The butterfly math approach has a few drawbacks. Many people advise avoiding using this technique. The reasons are-

  • Children might memorize the butterfly method without really learning how to solve fractions.
  • It doesn’t lead to the development of conceptual knowledge.
  • Often, students didn’t understand how it worked.
  • It reinforces the notion that fractions are nothing more than a collection of tricks.
  • The butterfly approach is only applicable to fraction pairs.
  • So, for fractions of three or higher, this procedure is tricky.
  • It can make multiplying algebraic fractions quite challenging.

Download Free Worksheet PDF


Our butterfly math method worksheets contain adding and subtracting, multiplication, division, and comparison of fractions concepts. We hope using our free printable worksheets, students will learn the theme of the butterfly math method and improve their fraction skills.

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