Last Updated: Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Equivalent forms of fractions, decimal fractions and percentages – second level

What is this?

Find some ideas to support you to design a learning activity on equivalent forms of simple fractions, decimal fractions and percentages. You can use these in class or adapt them for children who may be working remotely.

Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) experiences and outcomes: Second level

I can show the equivalent forms of simple fractions, decimal fractions and percentages and can choose my preferred form when solving a problem, explaining my choice of method. (MNU 2-07b)

Purpose of the activity

At first level, children should have experienced using the notation and vocabulary associated with common fractions to tenths. They should have been provided with opportunities to use known multiplication and division facts and other strategies to find unit fractions of whole numbers. For example, 12 of 20 or 14 of 12.

As children progress into second level, they should be given opportunities to show their understanding of equivalent forms of simple fractions, decimal fractions and percentages. This activity builds on this learning by asking children to calculate simple percentages of a quantity.

When designing learning activities, think about the range of children in your class and their individual circumstances.

Learning activity

  • Encourage children to talk to someone at home about when percentages, fractions and decimal fractions might be used and ask them to find examples. Suggest looking in newspapers, magazines, online or on TV.
  • You may want to remind children that ‘percent’ means out of 100. A percentage is a fraction with a denominator of one hundred. The symbol used to show percentages is %. For example, 10% is the same as 10 out of 100. This could be written as as a fraction or 0.1 as a decimal fraction.
    Here is a helpful link for the children to watch:
  • At this point, you may want to provide a short oral or written input, either in class or via an online tool, to remind children of equivalent forms of simple fractions and percentages.

    For example, 10% = 10100 = 110; 50% = 50100 = 12

Here is a helpful link with examples and more problems:
PDF file: STEM Work Cards

Part 1

  • Ask children to find the missing decimal fractions by copying and completing the table below:


Out of 100

Decimal fraction

20% 20100 ?
25% 25100 ?
75% 75100 ?
  • Ask children to add any other percentages that they found out through their discussions at home. Ask them to complete all the columns in the same way as above.

Part 2

  • Explain to children that the following situations give examples of how simple fractions, decimal fractions and percentages are used in everyday life. The questions ask children to use their knowledge of equivalent forms of simple fractions, decimal fractions and percentages.
  • In a closing down sale, a shop offers 50% off the original prices. What fraction is taken off of the prices?
  • Sophie is working out a problem involving 14. She needs to enter it into a calculator as a decimal. How would she do this?
  • Molly is buying her first home and she had to pay a deposit of  1 ⁄ 10 of the value of the flat. What is this as a percentage?
  • Granny bought some fabric that was 0.75m long. Write this down as as a fraction?

Part 3

  • Explain that one common use of percentages is during shop sales. The cost of items are reduced by a percentage of the original price.
  • The following link may be helpful to children if they require information around how to calculate a percentage:
  • There are two task options, the first will require access to the internet and the second can be undertaken with support from a person at home:
  1. The children will need to use their personal devices for this option:
    • Ask the children to find an online sale and choose three items they would like to buy.
    • Ask them to write down the original price and what the percentage reduction is. It is almost certain that the original price and sale price are both shown as well as the percentage discount.
    • Finally, ask them to check that the sale prices match the given percentage discount. Ask children to write their answers down.
  1. No personal device is required for this option:
    • Children ask someone in their family to create prices for three things that they would like to buy.
    • Agree on the percentage reduction there will be in a sale.
    • Ask children to calculate the new cost of each item. Ask children to write their answers down.
  • To challenge them further ask children to:
  1. calculate the total price of the three items they buy in the sale.
  2. calculate the total saving in the sale.

National benchmarks

  • Uses knowledge of equivalent forms of common fractions, decimal fractions and percentages.
  • Calculates simple percentages of a quantity, and uses this knowledge to solve problems in everyday contexts, for example, calculates the sale price of an item with a discount of 15%.
  • Carries out money calculations involving the four operations.

Possible approach to assessing learning

  • When completing activities and providing guidance on assessment approaches, please take account of the latest planning approaches to assessment.
  • You know your learners well and can alter the expectations of outcomes for individuals in line with the benchmarks.

Receiving examples of learning from children who may be working remotely will help you understand how they are managing the tasks you have set and provide some feedback.

Using whichever approaches your school uses to communicate with parents, some of the following may be useful in supporting you to assess and celebrate children’s progress:

  • Some children may want to upload photos or a record of their work to their online learning journal, or an online learning space for example, Google classroom or Microsoft Teams. This will give you the opportunity to provide feedback and next steps.
  • Ask children to add together the sale price and the discount to check that the total is the same as the original price of the each item.