Thanksgiving Problem Set

Nov 25, 2014

Want to test your math skills and get into the Thanksgiving spirit? Try our Thanksgiving word problems!

Lower Elementary:

Question: At a Thanksgiving dinner, 6 relatives are visiting from Nevada, 7 relatives are visiting from California, and 4 relatives are visiting from Arizona. How many total relatives are visiting?

Answer: 17 relatives

Solution: To find the number of relatives visiting, we need to add the members visiting from the different states. So, we need to add 6 + 7 + 4. Notice that if we add 6 + 4 first, we would get 10. So, 6 + 7 + 4 = 10 + 7 = 17. There are 17 relatives visiting.

pumpkin pie

Upper Elementary:

Question: The Morgans had pumpkin pie for their Thanksgiving dessert. The mom ate 1/4 of the pie. The dad ate 2/3 of what was remaining after the mom ate her portion. The daughter ate 1/2 of what was remaining after the dad ate his portion. How much of the pie is left after the daughter ate her portion?

Answer: 1/8 of the pie

Solution: From the whole pie, the mom ate 1/4 of it. 1 - 1/4 = 3/4. There is 3/4 of the pie left after the mom ate her portion. The dad ate 2/3 of what was remaining. Breaking 3/4 into 3 equal parts, each part is equal to 1/4. If 1/3 of 3/4 is 1/4, then 2/3 of 3/4 is 2/4 = 1/2. So the dad ate 1/2 of the pie. This means that there is 3/4 - 1/2 = 1/4 of the pie left for the daughter. The daughter ate half of what was remaining. Half of 1/4 is 1/8. There is 1/8 of the pie left after the daughter ate her portion.


Middle School:

Question: Right before Thanksgiving, a turkey went on sale from $20 to $17. What was the amount of the discount?

Answer: 15%

Solution: To find the percent discount, find the difference between the original and sale price and divide by the original price. $20 - $17 = $3. Now, we have 3/20. Since percent means for each hundred, one way to find the percent is to make the denominator equal to 100. 3/20 = 15/100. So, the turkey is on sale at a 15% discount.

Algebra and Up:

footballQuestion: The Goldmans are playing a game of football after their Thanksgiving meal. Bob threw the football and its path can be traced by the function h(t) = -t2 + 3t + 10 where t is the time from when Bob threw the football in seconds. At what time will the football hit the ground?

Answer: 5 seconds

Solution: To find when the football hits the ground, we need to set h(t) = 0.
0 = -t2 + 3t + 10
Multiply both sides by -1.
0 = t2 - 3t - 10
Factor the polynomial.
0 = (t - 5)(t + 2).
Set each factor equal to 0 and solve for t.
t - 5 = 0
t = 5
t + 2 = 0
t = -2
t = 5 and -2. It does not make sense that the ball hit the ground -2 seconds after Bob threw the ball, so that means the ball hits the ground 5 seconds after it was thrown.


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