20 bananas are shared equally among four monkeys. How many bananas does each monkey get?
So we can imagine a pile of 20 bananas. And we’re told in the first sentence that these 20 bananas are shared equally between four monkeys. Because they’re shared equally, we know that each monkey is going to get exactly the same amount. The question is asking us, if we have 20 and we share it into four groups, how many will be in each group? Or in other words, what is 20 divided by four?
We could use counters or cubes to help us find the answer. But equally we could also use times tables facts that we already know. Let’s change the order of our division number sentence to make it a times table number sentence. Four groups of something equals 20. Four groups of what? Four times one is four. Four groups of two equals eight. Four threes are 12. Four lots of four equals 16. And four lots of five equals 20. So we can say that 20 split into four equal groups gives five in each group. Four fives are 20.
Let’s check our answer using counters. Here are 20 counters to represent 20 bananas. Let’s share them equally between the four monkeys. We’ll move one across every time: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. So far we’ve shared eight bananas and each monkey’s got two. Let’s carry on: nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16.
We shared 16 bananas and each monkey’s got four each. Four times four equals 16. And we’ve got four bananas left. So each monkey is going to get one more: 17, 18, 19, and 20. 20 bananas are shared equally among four monkeys. Because we know four groups of five equal 20, the number of bananas that each monkey gets is five.