Practice Locating Fractions on a Number Line with Sink That Ship!

Numbers lines are abstract…fractions are abstract…what is a teacher to do?!

Well, teachers connect abstract things to real life for their students. We constantly look for ways to help students make sense of things that are being taught to them in isolation. So to practice locating benchmark fractions on a number line, we could turn the number lines into rivers or bodies of water.

benchmark-fractions-on-a-number-line-practice In this free game 3 player game, the Control Tower and Commander work together to sink the Spy ships. The Spy marks the ships and hands their number line to the Control Tower.


The Control Tower uses this intelligence to tell the Commander the “coordinates” of the location of the Spy ships. The Commander marks where they think the ships are on their own number line.


Then the Commander checks their thinking by laying their number line over the top of the Control Tower’s number line.  “Hits” are when the Commander has successfully located a ship.


After all three players rotate roles, the Spy with the highest number of ships not sunk to the bottom of the water is the winner!

The important part of teaching them to play this game is to show them how the ship would start at the beginning of the line, and then sail down the river/ocean.  When you stop at the halfway point (0r a third or quarter of the way on the other lines) they start to see what each of those tick marks stand for. They begin to see that a number line represents distance, imagine what that will do when they begin to measure!

The game is super motivating and the kids beg to play it! Give it a try, it’s free!




  1. But how do I locate the point corresponding to 1/5 on a 0 to 1 number line ?
    Have a look at my post on this:



  2. My name is Megan and I am currently in a Math Methods course at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. We are learning about teaching fractions; therefore, I found your blog post to be very intriguing. Sink That Ship! is a phenomenal game to incorporate into a fractions lesson because it enables the students to practice locating benchmark fractions on a number line rather than just comparing fractions in a pizza or pie format. I find this game to extremely fun and engaging for students and I will definitely implement this into my future lessons! Thank you for your blog post and I am looking forward to downloading this free game.



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