Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

In this ratios lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 3-8, students explore ratios and proportions using an online math game called Ratio Rumble. Students will identify ratios when used in a variety of contextual situations and explain why ratios and rates naturally relate to fractions and decimals.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Identify ratios when used in a variety of contextual situations.
  2. Solve common problems and communicate by using rate, particularly unit rates.
  3. Explain why ratios and rates naturally relate to fractions and decimals.


  • Computers with internet access for BrainPOP
  • Interactive whiteboard (or just an LCD projector)
  • One copy of the Ratios Graphic Organizer for each pair of students


This lesson plan uses a free online math game from Learning Games Lab called Ratio Rumble. The game allows students to practice identifying ratios in a variety of contextual situations and solve problems by using rates. There are multiple levels within the game that students unlock as they make progress. It could take students around three hours to complete the entire game, so make sure students understand they're not expected to play all the way through.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Play the Ratios movie for students to activate prior knowledge.
  2. Have students complete the Graphic Organizer from BrainPOP's Ratios movie to practice expressing amounts in whole number, fractions, and ratio forms.
  3. Talk about students' results. Project the Graphic Organizer and have student volunteers suggest answers. Type students' responses directly into the form, discussing how ratios are determined and expressed.
  4. Tell students they will have the opportunity to experiment with more ratios in an online game called Ratio Rumble. You can either project the game for the class to see and go over basic functions of game play together, or allow students to discover this information on their own. Students will need to understand that they can fulfill each ratio listed on the left side of the screen by selecting its equivalent from the grid: simply connect flasks that touch each other in the up, down, left, right, or diagonal directions.
  5. Provide at least ten minutes of class time for students to explore the game. As they advance through the levels, they will discover more game features. A flask that looks like a bomb with a fuse must be used before the countdown reaches zero, or it will explode and reduce the player's health. A flask with a heart on it will heal the player when used, and a flask with a lightning bolt will damage the opponent. Two-part ratios require potions in two colors; three-part ratios require potions in three colors. In later levels, some flasks are only half full: the solution is to combine two half-flasks to make one whole, or reduce to an equivalent ratio and earn extra points.
  6. Have students pause in their game play for several minutes to participate in a whole class discussion. What strategies have they found helpful during game play? How did they use the information they know about ratios to help them beat each level? How are the two part ratios different from the three part ratios? You can play the Proportions movie if needed to develop student understanding.
  7. Allow students to continue playing the game. You can create a specific goal for students if desired, and challenge them to reach a certain level before time is up. Differentiate the goals if necessary.
  8. Assess student learning using the game quiz.

Extension Activities:

Encourage students to try to beat the game outside of class time. You can even offer extra credit points or a prize to any students who can show you a screenshot of the completed game! You can also allow students to explore the other ratio games on BrainPOP's GameUp.