Multiplying Fractions Word Problems
I guess maybe some students get it from their parents. After all, I know that I have been known to grumble about things I learned in school, but never used in real life. I’m sure when it comes to word problems for multiplying fractions, that phrase may have passed your lips too.
But, we do multiply fractions in real life and the real world sometimes. For example, recipes! Recipes and adjusting, maybe cutting a recipe in half or doubling it, those are real world examples of multiplying fractions.
Most schools begin introducing fractions around 3rd grade, with multiplying fractions word problems beginning in 6th grade.
Here are 10 multiplying fractions word problems to work on multiplying fractions using real-life examples.
Have you ever heard, “I will never use this”?
It is important for children to see how math is used in everyday life. And word problems are one way to do this.
Multiplying Fractions seems like a foreign concept to many students, but it is a concept we use.
Have you ever wanted to only make 1/2 of a recipe? If so, you have probably multiplying fractions…..especially if the recipe called for 3/4 a cup of flour.
So today, we are going to finish up our multiplying fraction unit with some word problems. I am doing the activity in the post as well as some of the fraction games and activities below.
Grab my other free multiplying fractions by fractions activities.
- How to Multiply Fractions by Fractions – Step by Step Instructions with Free Printable
- Here is a Multiplying Fractions BINGO Game That’s Perfect for Extra Practice
- 3 Cut and Paste Worksheets For Multiplying Fractions Practice
- Free Printable Fraction Game For Multiplying Fractions
- Many More on my TeachersPayTeachers page for Multiplying Fractions
Preparing the Fractions Real World Problems
These task cards are easy to prepare.
- Print off on copy paper.
- Have children cut them out and glue them in their math journal.
- Finally, provide them pencils, glue, and colored pencils. and you are ready to go.
Multiplying Fractions Word Problems Example
Rachel’s Famous Cookies sold 2/3 as many sugar cookies as peanut butter cookies. If they sold 1/4 of a box of peanut butter cookies, how many boxes of sugar cookies did they sell?
The first step is to look at we know. We know that they sold 1/4 a box of peanut butter cookies. But they only sold 2/3 of the 1/4 when it came to the sugar cookies.
So if we want to start with a diagram, we can begin by drawing a box of cookies and coloring in 1/4.
Many students require a multisensory approach to learning. It’s not just enough to talk about something and hear it. They have to see it. This activity works as a visual graphic organizer of sorts, so that the student can visualize what is going on.
Next, we can color in 2/3.
Finally, we look and see what part overlaps, and this is the answer! Two out of the 12 squares overlap, so our answer is 2/12 or 1/6 when the fraction is simplified. But using the squares on the paper and coloring with overlap, we have completed our first multiplying fractions word problem.
Using Fractions in Real Life
I’m a firm believer that children should not be given multiplying fractions word problems that require the same operation each time.
That is not real life, and that does teach them to learn what needs to be done to solve the problem. We need to give them the confidence that they can apply this knowledge to different situations and word problems.
That’s why I am including more than that in the multiplying fractions word problems worksheets.
So even though this printable is for practicing multiplying fractions with word problems there are a few word problems where multiplication is not used. Here is one example.
Luciana gave 1/4 of the cake to one friend, and 1/3 another friend. How much of the cake is left if she started with a whole cake?
This word problem has the children subtracting to figure out the answer.
- We know that Luciana started with a whole cake, which equals one. So we want to begin by drawing a square.
- The next thing we have to figure out is how many parts we need to divide it up into. Since we now we will be subtracting 1/4 and 1/3 we will need to get the Least Common Multiple. The multiples of three and four are…..
4: 4, 8, 12
3: 3, 6, 9, 12
As you can see 12 is the least common multiple. So our square needs to have 12 equal parts.
3. Next, we will need to find equivalent fractions for both of our fractions.
1/4 x 3/3 = 3/12 and 1/3 x 4/4 = 4/12.
4. Now all that is left is to subtract 3 part and then 4 parts.
5. Finally, we can see that there 5/12 of the cake left.
Word Problems are an important part of math instruction, and how we do math in everyday life. Enjoy working through these real life problems with your children.
The printable that accompanies this activity is below. Here you go, your free multiplying fractions word problems PDF. This free printable includes multiplying fractions word problems with answers.
You’ve Got This!
Get more fractions activities by ordering a workbook (but hey, nothing beats a free printable!)