Class Clips is changing
We will be introducing the new Knowledge and Learning Beta website over the coming months. Clips for use in the classroom are now available on your phone, tablet or PC.

Alternatively, you can still browse or search by keyword or clip number on this site.

CLIP 13582

# The history of fractions

## Did you know?

AllÂ Class Clips content is available to watch on mobile, tablet and desktop devices on our new Knowledge & Learning BETA website.

Key Info
• The history of fractions
• A series of animated sketches explore the subject of fractions. Fractions and decimal numbers are compared on a quiz show. This highlights the inability of decimals to accurately represent some numbers, such as one third. Early use of fractions in Ancient Egypt is explored showing how a series of separate fractions were used to divide amounts up in a practical way. It is shown that this method continued into 13th Century Europe, when the mathematician Fibonacci helped introduce the fractions we use now, as well as Hindu Arabic numbers.
• Subject:

Topic:

## Historical and Cultural Roots

• Keywords: ApproximateHistoryofMaths, fractions, decimal, Egypt, Fibonacci, division
Ideas for use in class
• Students could re-enact the game show sketch, one team answering with fractions and the other with decimals. Discuss if one method is quicker and if their accuracy varies. Lead into demonstrating decimal numbers as a way of writing specific fractions based on division by ten, hundred etc. Carry out a practical exercise of dividing up different physical objects using vulgar and Egyptian fractions. Again, is one easier, quicker or more accurate? Discuss Fibonacci and his importance to European maths.
Background details
• Clip language : English
• Aspect ratio : 16x9