Dividing Fractions Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Everyone loves chocolate chip cookies, right? Take advantage of this in your instruction as you teach students how to simplify a recipe by dividing fractions. In addition, a video lesson provides instruction and guided practice as students play and pause their way to mastery.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • reduce a recipe by dividing fractions
  • solve practical problems by dividing fractions
  • apply sequential steps to divide fractions


30 minutes to 1 hour


  • Photocopies of a simple recipe for chocolate chip cookies

Curriculum Standards


Apply and extend previous understandings of division to divide unit fractions by whole numbers and whole numbers by unit fractions.1


Interpret division of a unit fraction by a non-zero whole number, and compute such quotients. For example, create a story context for (1/3) ÷ 4, and use a visual fraction model to show the quotient. Use the relationship between multiplication and division to explain that (1/3) ÷ 4 = 1/12 because (1/12) * 4 = 1/3.


Interpret division of a whole number by a unit fraction, and compute such quotients. For example, create a story context for 4 ÷ (1/5), and use a visual fraction model to show the quotient. Use the relationship between multiplication and division to explain that 4 ÷ (1/5) = 20 because 20 * (1/5) = 4.


Solve real world problems involving division of unit fractions by non-zero whole numbers and division of whole numbers by unit fractions, e.g., by using visual fraction models and equations to represent the problem. For example, how much chocolate will each person get if 3 people share 1/2 lb of chocolate equally? How many 1/3-cup servings are in 2 cups of raisins?


  • Begin by handing out the photocopies of the recipe for chocolate chip cookies, one per student.
  • Explain to the students that you would like them to cut the recipe in half. Have each student attempt to reduce each ingredient by half.
  • When all students have finished reducing the recipe, ask them to share their answers and calculations with the class. How many different answers came up? What different methods did students use to cut down the recipe?
  • Now play the video lesson Dividing Fractions and Mixed Numbers, pausing at 1:04.
  • Next, work through the recipe on the board as a class. Use the steps provided in the video lesson to cut the recipe in half, ingredient by ingredient. Do these answers match up with the answers the students came up with earlier? If not, have the students correct their calculations on their papers now.
  • Play the video lesson again, pausing this time at 1:19.
  • Ask students to attempt to solve the punch problem posed in the video lesson using the three steps previously practiced.
  • Play the video lesson and pause at 1:44. By a show of hands, how many students reached the correct answer? For those who didn't, have them use the steps to correct their answers on their papers.
  • Resume the video lesson, pausing at 2:02. Ask students to solve the pizza problem presented in the video lesson.
  • Play the lesson again, pausing at 2:24. Once again, have the students check their answers against the solutions provided in the video lesson. If they did not reach the correct answers, have them recalculate using the steps provided.
  • Play the video again and pause it at 2:46. Have the students solve the chip problem presented in the lesson.
  • Play the lesson again and pause at 3:05. Have the students self-check their calculations again and fix any errors using the information provided on the screen.
  • Resume the video and pause at 4:22. Have the students divide the mixed numbers featured on the screen using the instruction provided in the video lesson.
  • Play the lesson again, pausing this time at 4:47. How many students were able to solve this problem correctly? For those who did not, have them recalculate now.
  • When all students are finished working on the wood problem, play the video lesson, pausing once more at 5:02.
  • Have students attempt to solve the flower problem posed in the video lesson.
  • Play the rest of the video lesson and tell students to self-check their flowers answers and correct as needed.
  • When the video lesson is finished, have students revisit their chocolate chip cookie recipes. Can they cut it down by a third? A fifth? A tenth? A one-hundredth?

Discussion Questions

  • How many cookies would the recipe make with each division?
  • How could we divide the recipe to make just one cookie?


  • Give each student a paper plate. Now have students draw on that plate to create a whole pizza. How would that pizza need to be cut if each person in the class wanted two slices of the pizza? Have them write out the calculations required to solve this problem.
  • Have students practice dividing fractions using a dollar bill and dice. For example, if the students roll a 2 and a 5, they would divide the dollar bill by two-fifths, and so on.

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