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Reading and Making Tape Diagrams

6.RP.A.3
Answer Keys Here

Aligned To Common Core Standard:

Grade 6 Proportional Relationships - 6.RP.A.3

What Are Tape Diagrams in Math? When it comes to providing 2nd graders with useful tools to solve word problems, the tape diagrams are one of the best ones available. It is a very popular tool that has magical qualities. The kids who take up to 15-20 minutes to solve a word problem can do that in a matter of 5-10 minutes with this tool. Tape Diagram is a tool that represents a mathematical situation. This visual diagram gets its name because it looks like it represents a series of tape pieces. It is a rectangular visual model that resembles a tape that is divided as per the word problem. It is also known as a divided bar model, strip diagram, fraction strip, and length model. The key here is to create identical rectangles. Each division in the rectangle will denote a new section of tape or part of the whole.

Printable Worksheets And Lessons


You may also see this work referred to as a Bar Model. They tend to go hand and hand. The basic premise is that we are using visual diagrams (pieces of tape or bars) to define parts of a whole.





Answers are included in these pages. Check out page 2 of each file.

  • Quiz - We fire 6 problems at you from all directions. Example: It took 4 buses to take 120 students on a field trip. How many students would be on each school bus?

  • Homework 1 - This sheet is the best mix of problems in the entire set.

  • Homework 2 - Painters use a ratio of 5 parts blue paint to 3 parts red paint; when mixing the purple paint for Vikings Stadium. How much blue paint would they need to make 16 gallons of purple paint?

  • Practice Sheet 3 - Proportions on the length of ribbons and wooden boards.

  • Practice Sheet 4 - Students vote for what they want to eat during a class party.

  • Practice Sheet 5 - These questions are more focused on reading premade diagrams. You will work on problems like this: Lisa raised $45 for the animal shelter, which was 5 times as much money as Helen raised. How much money did Helen raise?


How Tape Diagrams Help Students Progress with Higher Levels of Math

This technique of using graphic diagrams to model math problems is usually introduced to students later in the elementary grade levels. It will often make an appearance when students are exploring proportions because they lend themselves to make concrete comparisons. Some students will have a very strong affinity to this technique, and it will lead them to learn how to make adjustments to model a great deal more than simply proportions. As they begin to learn operations with fractions, they will turn back to skill and it is very helpful. When used properly this method can lead students towards thinking about problems algebraically. I have seen students consistently use this skill up through Algebra 1 and have great success staying organized when tackling tough word problems. On an occasion with my accountant, she explained my taxes using this technique. We encourage teachers through the middle level and even high school level to remind their students of the tape diagram method for solving troublesome exercises.