Word Problem Wednesday: Oh Christmas Tree!

Dec 9, 2015

This week's word problem features one of our favorite holiday symbols—the Christmas tree! Give it a shot; we'll post the answer tomorrow!

While outside shopping for the perfect Christmas tree, Justine stands next to a tree that is 10 feet tall. Justine is 48 inches tall and casts a 5–foot shadow. How long is the shadow that the tree casts in feet?

Though the Christmas tree as we know it has been much-loved Christmas tradition since at least the 16th century, did you know that its origin can be traced as far back as pre-Christian Europe? Read more Christmas tree history here!

Update: Here's the solution to our word problem!

Since Justine’s height is in inches and everything else is in feet, we need to convert her height first. Since there are 12 inches in a foot, Justine is 48 ÷ 12 = 4 feet. To find the length of the shadow of the tree, we set up a proportion. If we let x be the length of the tree’s shadow, we have 4 / 5 = 10 / x. Cross multiply and we get 4x = 50, which means that x = 12.5. So the tree casts a 12.5-foot shadow!

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