5-Bars and Fraction Bingo (equality)
Materials: 5-Bars and Fraction Bingo mat for each person and markers
Show the students a 5-Bars mat to illustrate 5-Bars Equality. The Fraction Bingo discs on the upper half of the mat will not be used. Each student should have one of these mats and some markers. Select an arbitrary bar to illustrate the first play of the game. Any student having a bar on their mat with the same shaded amount as the bar you selected can place a marker off to the side of the bar. The first student to get a marker beside each of their 5 bars wins the game.
After someone wins the game, you may want to ask them to describe each of their five bars as you check the ones that were selected for the game. Discuss the major concepts involved in this game, which is equality or same shaded amount. Ask the players to make some observations regarding the bars on their mats. Here are some possible comments: a bar with 1 shaded part out of 3 is equal to a bar with 2 shaded parts out of 6 (equality); a bar with 1 shaded part out of 2 has a greater shaded amount than a bar with 5 shaded parts out of 12 (inequality); the bars on the mats are the same size (length) as the actual Fraction Bars, so that bars can be placed on the mats for comparisons; pairs of bars can show differences, for example, on the above mat, the difference in the shaded amounts of the blue bar and the red bar is 1 part out of 12. You might point out that the orange bar is in the center of the five bars on each mat to help in making comparisons between the orange bar and the other four bars.

Discuss the Fraction Bingo game on the mat and illustrate this game by selecting a yellow transparent bar with 2 parts shaded. Anyone having a yellow disc with two parts shaded or any other disc with the same amount of shading can place a marker on their disc. Discuss the fact that it is not as easy to compare the shaded amounts of the wedged shaped parts of two discs as it is to compare the shaded parts of two bars, and that when playing Fraction Bingo, it is helpful to use the five bars at the bottom of the mat to determine equalities. Play this game by selecting bars and having players place markers on their discs. The first player to obtain three markers in a row, column or diagonal wins.
This group of students is playing 5-Bars and the teacher has just asked a question such as, "Does anyone have a bar with 3 out of 4 parts shaded or another bar with the same shaded amount?"
Photo courtesy of Herb Moyer