Buffalo Hunts and Division

📖 Standard

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.5.NBT.B.5 Fluently multiply multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.5.NBT.A.3.A Read and write decimals to thousandths

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.5.NBT.A.4 Use place value understanding to round decimals to any place.

NOTE: Teachers who have not yet covered decimals in their class have an option within the lesson to only teach the first standard.

⏰ Time

25- 30 minutes

📲 Technology Required

Computer or mobile device

📃 Summary

Begin with a video on long division (optional) or a presentation on uses of division from the playground to the buffalo hunt. Watch a short video working long division problems. Finish with practicing long division in Making Camp Dakota. Short videos on Dakota buffalo hunt traditions and related math lessons are also linked.


Video: Optional for Review

If your students need a review of the steps in long division, we recommend this six-minute video that uses the acronym HMS ↓ to teach students to :

  • Ask How Many
  • Multiply
  • Subtract
  • Bring down

Presentation on Division and Buffalo Hunts

This Google slides presentation gives common factors in buffalo hunts across different tribes and explains how whether it is computing the number of hides a horse can carry or how long each group gets to play at recess, division is always useful.

NOTE: This presentation includes two slides that reference converting a fraction to a decimal. If you have not yet introduced this concept, those slides can be deleted.

Video: Long Division by Guessing

For those students who don’t know where to start with long division – guess!

Play a Game – Making Camp Dakota

Select the Buffalo Icon (top left corner) in the first MATH screen to practice long division.

Math Screen #1 from Making Camp Dakota

Related Lessons

For more instruction on division check out these two lessons:

Related videos

These two videos, each about 1 minute in length, give more information on traditional Dakota buffalo hunts.

Becoming a buffalo hunter

Dakota deer and buffalo hunting

Converting fractions to decimals

📖 Standard

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.NS.A.2.D Convert a rational number to a decimal using long division; know that the decimal form of a rational number terminates in 0s or eventually repeats.

⏰ Time

30-40 minutes

📲 Technology Required

A projector or smart board is required to show the Google slides presentation in class. It can also be shown using any web meeting software for remote learning. The random candy generator can be used by students in anything with a browser, including computers, tablets or phones. This activity is optional. It’s actually more fun with fun-size bags of candy like Skittles or M & M’s.

📃 Summary

Students watch a video or hear a presentation explaining using long division to convert fractions to decimals. A second method of using place value is discussed when the denominator is tenths, hundredths or thousandths. Students then play a game that teaches converting fractions to decimals and end with an activity finding the decimal representing each color in a bag of candy. A simulator is included if no bags of candy are available!

📚 Lesson

EITHER watch the video below

This is a 7-minute video that gives the steps in converting fractions to decimals, with multiple examples, using both long division and place value.

OR Use this Google Slides Presentation

The Google slides presentation covers the same material as the video with the same examples. The steps in the long division problems are animated in the presentation. If you prefer a PowerPoint presentation you can find that here. Both can be viewed from these links or you can copy into your own Google drive or download to modify for your class.

The presentation and video both include two sample problems to work as a class.

NOTE: The presentation includes an activity converting fractions to decimals using candy or a random sample application.

Play a Game

Play the Empiric Empire game for 10 minutes. This game teaches fractions and decimals in the context of concepts from epidemiology such as prevalence, incidence and mortality rate.

Simulated Candy Bag

Convert fractions with Candy

The Google Slides/ Powerpoint ends with an activity where students use a pack of candy to find fractions, convert those fractions to decimals and graph the result. If you don’t have time / forgot to buy bags of candy, you can use a simulator here. Random fact: The average fun-size bag contains 12 pieces of candy. There is a link for plain graph paper in the slides. If you’d prefer graph paper with fractions and decimals already entered, this page is divided into sixteenths.


This lesson includes three types of assessment. There are the problems completed together in class, included within the presentation or video. There are the problems completed within the Empiric Empire game which you can see in the teacher reports. There is also an assessment at the end of the slides using different colors of candy to convert fractions to decimals and chart the results.

Rational numbers, adding and subtracting decimals


CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.NS.A.1 Apply and extend previous understandings of addition and subtraction to add and subtract rational numbers

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.EE.B.3 Solve multi-step real-life and mathematical problems posed with positive and negative rational numbers


30-45 minutes


A projector and computer in class or a computer, phone or tablet at home is required to watch the videos and see the Google slides. Slides can also be printed and sent home with students.


Students watch two videos explaining decimal and fraction equivalence. They are then presented with a brief reminder of natural, integer and rational numbers. A slide presentation discusses adding and subtracting decimals. The lesson ends with teacher and student-generated practice problems.


Since the previous lesson discussed rational numbers and fractions, we introduce this lesson with two videos explaining the equivalence of fractions and decimals.

Video Introducing Decimals

This three minute video discusses fractions, decimals and percents as three ways of expressing the same number.

This second video shows examples of fractions and decimals as equivalent.

Presentation and Practice Problems

Use this Google slides presentation to reinforce the understanding of rational numbers introduced in the previous lesson. Students can answer two formative assessment questions during a presentation or these can be done on their own with students learning at home. The lesson ends with students writing and sharing their own decimal addition and subtraction problems with classmates.

Enrichment Option

To provide motivated or advanced students more information on types of numbers, assign this optional two-page reading on types of numbers.


Formative assessment problems are given in the presentation. Students also write their own problems and answers.

Note: Aztech: Mayan Empire, available in the 2021-22 school year teaches decimal addition and subtraction.


Missouri Learning Standards (MLS) 7.NS.A.1.a