Lesson plan

Divide it Up!

Make division come to life with this hands-on, introductory lesson on the operation of division! Students will use authentic problems and manipulatives to experience division in action.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Details of Division pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Details of Division pre-lesson.

Students will be able to use equal groups, drawings, and measurement quantities to solve division problems. Students will construct solutions to solve simple division problems, and will be able to explain and defend how they generated answers for division problems.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Invite six students to the front of the classroom to participate in acting out a word problem.
  • Read the following word problem: “It is the beginning of a new school year! Six students have one package of 18 pencils. They want to share the pencils equally. How many pencils will each student get?”
  • Explain that to solve this problem, you must divide, or separate the pencils into equal groups, each with the same number of pencils.
  • Display 18 pencils and ask a different student to act as the “leader” and to distribute the pencils among the students.
  • Explain that together, you have just solved the division problem. You started with 18 pencils, and shared them equally between six students, proving that 18 divided by 6 is 3.
  • Write the equation on the board for all students to see:
    18 ÷ 6 = 3
(10 minutes)
  • Tell your class that you will be solving additional division problems.
  • Take out counters, jelly beans, or other objects and 2 jars.
  • Using 8 counters, model the process of distributing 8 counters between two jars.
  • Write the equation on the board:
    8 ÷ 2 = 4
  • Repeat with the following division problems:
    10 ÷ 2 = 5
    14 ÷ 2 = 7
(10 minutes)
  • Have the students sit in a “fishbowl” set-up (see picture for example). The majority of the class will be seated in the outer circle, while 3 students will be seated in the inner circle.
  • Tell the students they will practice dividing between a group of 3.
  • Take out 6 crayon counters. Tell the students: “We have 6 crayons. We want to share these crayons between 3 students in the middle of the circle. How many pencils should each student get?”
  • Appoint a class leader to be in charge of distributing the 6 crayons between the three students. After the crayons are distributed, write the following equation on the board:
    6 ÷ 3 = 2
  • Repeat the process of equally sharing crayons between 3 students, practicing the following equations:
    9 ÷ 3 = 3
    12 ÷ 3 = 4
(15 minutes)
  • Distribute donut cut-out manipulatives and Donut Division worksheet.
  • Have students use cut-outs of donuts to solve the division problems. Students should first count out the total number of donuts, and then separate them into groups.
  • Students will complete the Donut Division worksheet.
  • Enrichment: Have students who need a greater challenge color/create flowers and cut them out. Students will then practice distributing them between the pots, creating different equations and illustrating the process of division. They can do the same with the Baseball Division worksheet and the baseball manipulatives.
  • Support: Help students who are struggling using the SMARTBoard lesson, Dividing Flowers. Have students participate in moving flowers to the flower pots to create division equations. Give these students flower pots and flower manipulatives. Have students practice dividing the flowers with various equations.
  • Dividing Flowers (SMARTboard Lesson)
(10 minutes)
  • Write the following equation on the board:
    16 ÷ 4 = ? 
  • Ask the students to use their donut manipulatives to solve the equation.
  • Continue with the following equations:
    12 ÷ 3 = ?
    10 ÷ 2 = ?
  • Students should write their equations, with the answer, on a note card, which can be used as a formative assessment exit slip.
(5 minutes)
  • Read aloud the first word problem from the worksheet Divide 'Em Up. Have students work with a partner to complete the problem.
  • Call on students to share their thinking.
  • Assign the remainder of the worksheet for homework.

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