Education Technology

Fractions / Dividing a Whole Number by a Fraction

Grade Level 5
Activity 12 of 15
In this lesson, unit squares are used to investigate division of whole numbers by a fraction.

Planning and Resources

Students understand that the division of a whole number by a unit fraction is the product of the whole number and the denominator of the fraction. They recognize that dividing a whole number c by a fraction (a/b) means you have to find how many groups or partial groups of (a/b) are in c.

perfect squares

Standard: Search Standards Alignment


Lesson Snapshot


Have students connect the whole number to the unit squares and the unit fraction to each partition within the unit square.

What to look for

Students should see that the quotient is the total number of partitions within the two unit squares.

Sample Assessment

Consider the following problem: You used 2 (2/3) cups of sugar to make 4 batches of pancake batter. How many cups would you use for 1 batch of batter?

Answer: (2/3) cup per batch.

The Big Idea

When dividing a whole number c by a fraction (a/b), the question asked is: how many groups of (a/b) are contained in c.

What are the students doing?

Give students time to use the file to investigate dividing a whole number by a unit fraction.

What is the teacher doing?

Ask students how the unit square is connected to their thinking about what division means, particularly with respect to whole numbers, can lead to a productive discussion that might surface their misunderstandings.