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New Teachers New York:
Lesson Plans by New Teachers, For New Teachers
Percents and Wholes 

Learning Objective:
Students practice finding what percent one quantity is of another.

Impact: pg. 261 - 264
Handbook: pg. 144 - 147

Key Ideas:

  • A percent of the whole = the part
  • Write a fraction with the part as the numerator and the whole as a denominator, divide to find an equivalent decimal and change the decimal to percent.
  • To change the decimal to a percent, move the decimal point 2 places to the right and place a percent sign after the number.
  • To change a percent to a decimal, move the decimal point 2 places to the left.
  • To change a percent to a fraction, remove the percent sign and place a 100 as the denominator of the number.

Percent: A number expressed in relation to 100. Expressed with %.

Chart Paper, Markers, large 4x4 Grid on chart paper, Fractions, Decimals and Percents Chart, 6x6 Grid with questions, percents, decimals and fractions chart (one per student),

Do Now:
Percent Handout

1. Use the 4x4 grid on chart paper. Consecutively number the squares on the grid 5 - 21.

2. Ask the students the following questions:

  1. How many squares are on the grid? (16)
  2. Can you identify all the numbers that are multiples of 5? (5, 10, 15, 20)
  3. How many squares do they use? (4)
  4. How do you write the number of squares that have multiples of 5, compared to the total number of squares, as a fraction? (4 / 16)

3. Prepare chart paper with four columns.

  1. Write the question on the first column of the chart.
  2. Write the fraction in the fraction (second) column. Should we leave the fraction as is or reduce it? (Reduce it to ¼)
  3. How do we convert that to a decimal? (Divide the numerator by the denominator OR multiply the fraction by 25 to get a denominator of 100). What does it equal as a decimal? (.25) Write the decimal in the decimal column.
  4. How do we change the decimal to a percent? (Move decimal 2 places to the right). What do we get as a percent? (25%) Write that in the percent column. What percent of the squares on the grid are multiples of 5 ? (25%)

4. Ask the 2nd question: What % of the squares on the grid are factors of 40? (3/16 = 18.75%)

5. Ask the students to come up with a question based on the numbers in the 4x4 grid. Make sure they phrase it as: "What % of the squares on the grid are .?" Determine the answer to the question.

Present a few more samples of questions to the students. Then give instructions for the small group activity.

Small Group Activity:
Students will work in groups of 2 and use a 6x6 grid. They will number their squares in consecutive numbers. They may begin at any number they choose. They will then create at least 4 questions (as demonstrated in the mini-lesson), and write them in the questions column. They will then exchange their paper with their partner and try to respond to their partner's questions.

How do we find the percent of a number? (By changing the percent to a decimal and then multiplying it with the number).

Journal Prompt:
Lyle had a math test today. He had to answer 30 multiple-choice questions. He thinks he got at least 24 problems correct. What percent of the problems did he get correct?

Have the students give an example as related to real life, in connection with today's activity.


  • Understands the equivalence of whole numbers and percents.
  • Understands the equivalence of decimals and percents.
  • Understands the advantages and disadvantages of different number representations.

I find that students understand math more quickly when they are involved in the mini-lesson. This leads to a productive independent activity and holds them responsible for their own learning.

Overall Value:
Students come up with creative and fun questions. They also enjoy listening to and finding answers to their partners' questions.

Created by:
Anju S. Thalla 
Location: MS 267
Grade: 6th Grade
Subject: Math

Anju S. Thalla teaches math to sixth graders at M S 267. She is a first year teacher.

If you have any questions regarding this activity, please contact Anju S. Thalla at: mrsthalla@gmail.com 


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