After students learn basic math skills such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, the next step is learning how to apply these skills to real-life situations. Word problems present situations in which students must use the information to determine the formula for finding a solution. Help students learn how to use division skills by writing division story problems. With practice, students will learn how to identify and solve division story problems.
Create division problems by performing the opposite operations of multiplication problems. For example, instead of creating a problem that asks how many times a factor increases, ask how many times one number divides into another number.
Use keywords for division story problems. Keywords that indicate a division story problem include the words “per” and “out of.”
Write a division story problem such as, “Glenda makes $2,000 per month working 22 days each month. How much money does Glenda make each day?” Another division story problem could be, “If a tray of crackers contains 225 crackers and you want to divide the crackers evenly among 15 students, how many crackers will each student get?” A third problem might be, “A baseball pitcher won 95 percent of all the games he started. The pitcher started 20 games, so how many games did he win?” This story problem can require both multiplication and division to solve, especially for young learners.
Solve the problem yourself to make sure you know the correct answer. For problem 1, divide 2,000 by 22 to get 90.9; Glenda earned $90.90 each day. For problem 2, divide 225 by 15 to get 15; each student gets 15 crackers. For problem 3, multiply 95 by 20 to get 1,900. Then divide 1,900 by 100 to get 19; the pitcher won 19 out of 20 games.