Math Story : Introduction To Decimals

The Decimal Planet

“Decimal planet is in danger. An asteroid hit our planet last night. The situation is extremely chaotic. The majority of our fractions and decimals are lost, leading to a greater tragedy. We need your help”, says the message. But whose message is this? Will Uncle Math go and help them?

“Oh no! Mr Decimal and the Decimal planet need my help”, murmurs Uncle Math. “Decimal? Who is Mr Decimal? Your new friend?”, asks Cirha. “Yes! Mr Decimal lives peacefully on the Decimal planet with his fellow decimals and fractions. He is head of the Decimal planet”, answers Uncle Math.

Being curious, Triho asks, “Even we live together on earth. But what is so special about the Decimal planet?“ Uncle Math smiles and says, “On the Decimal planet, every family consists of a fraction and its decimal. They are like the best siblings. They do not fight and share everything.”

Amazed by the description, Triho and Cirha cannot wait to reach the decimal planet. They swiftly board the spacecraft and leave.

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Uncle Math and the kids have landed. Cirha is horrified by the visuals. “Oh no! This is so sad. People are crying everywhere. How can we help them?” she asks.

Suddenly, a citizen cries for help. “Help me! I cannot find my decimal brother”, she says. “Help me! I cannot find my fraction sister”, says another citizen.

“Listen to me carefully. To help the people here, all we have to do is help the fractions find their decimals and help the decimals find their fractions”, says Uncle Math. “But how?” asks the kids. “No fear when I am here!”, he replies.

“Look at all the fractions around here, do you find anything common?” asks Uncle Math. “Oh yes! All their denominators are 10 or 100 or 1000″, says Triho observing his surroundings carefully. “Exactly! Decimals are special types of fractions whose denominators are always 10 or power of 10 like 10, 100, 1000 etc”, explains Uncle Math.

“We represent such fractions as decimals like this 0.1, 0.99, 8.888, 0.25, 0.0001. This dot between the digits is a decimal point”, says Uncle Math. “Oh! So do we add this decimal point based on the number of zeroes in the denominator?” asks Cirha. “You are right”, says Uncle Math.

“0.1 is read as zero point one. Similarly, 0.25 will be read as zero point two five. We do not read the digits together after the decimal point”, adds Uncle Math. Suddenly another citizen comes crying and says,”I am 5/10. I cannot find my decimal sibling”.

“5/10 means I will write 05 first. Since the denominator has one zero, I will start adding a decimal point from the right after one digit. So the decimal of 5/10 is nothing but 0.5”, explains Uncle Math. “Look there! 0.5 is behind the tree. 5/10 that is your sibling”, says Triho. 5/10 is elated.

“Understood! Triho, come on let us hurry now. We need to find all the decimals”, says Cirha. Suddenly, the kids spot a camp. They decide to enter and find out.

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“Oh no! So many decimals and fractions are here!” says Cirha entering the boot camp. They decide to help all the fractions and decimals siblings. Can you help Triho and Cirha in pairing decimal and fraction siblings?

“25/100 your sibling is 0.25. Look there he is”, says Triho. Similarly, they pair up 8/10 with 0.8, 15/10 with 1.5 and 1/100 with 0.01. “Hurrah! They look so happy now”, says Cirha. Both of them are happy.

“Help me too!” says a new voice. It is 0.08. Can you find its fraction sibling now?

“0.08 has two digits after the decimal point. That means the denominator will have two zeroes. So 100 is the denominator, and 8 is the numerator. The fraction is 8/100. Look there, she must be searching for you”, says Triho. 0.08 is elated. He finally found his sister.

This continues, and the kids need to find fraction sisters of 0.10, 5.3, and 35.4. Can you write the fraction representation of these decimals to help Triho and Cirha?

0.10 and 10/100 are the siblings. 5.3 and 53/10 are the siblings, and finally, 35.4 and 354/10 are the siblings. “Hurrah! Seeing them finally united feels so good”, says Cirha.

“Decimal planet is peaceful again. This would not have been possible without your help”, says Mr Decimal. Uncle Math and the kids are glad. It was a meaningful journey for everyone. A journey that not only helped them discover the relationship between fractions and decimals but also identify the importance of loved ones.

We Learnt That…

  • Decimals are special types of fractions whose denominators are always 10 or power of 10 like 10,100, 1000 etc.
  • A decimal number consists of a decimal point.
  • To convert the fraction into a decimal, we add decimal points based on the number of zeroes present in the denominator.
  • To convert a decimal into a fraction, write the decimal number without a point in the numerator and add the number of zeroes based on the number of digits after the decimal point.

Let’s Discuss

  • Who called Uncle Math? Where were we going?
  • What was special about the Decimal planet?
  • How did we help solve the chaos on the Decimal planet?
  • What is a decimal? What is the relationship between decimals and fractions?

Please refer this guide by Fun2Do Labs for teaching decimals to kids :