Word Problem Wednesday: Ninja Turtles

Jul 29, 2020


This week’s word problems make reference to the sewer-dwelling, pizza-loving comic book superheroes, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Lower elementary students will get to compare the Ninja Turtles’ heights. Upper elementary will measure out toxic sewage using the concept of wholes and parts. Middle school students will help April, friend of the Ninja Turtles, choose a job by calculating unit rates, and more advanced students will practice finding the area of a circle of the Ninja Turtles’ favorite food –pizza!

Read this week’s description with your child and choose the word problem that’s the right skill level for them and have them give it a try! After they feel they’ve found the answer, have a look at the solution! 

“Heroes in a Half Shell. Turtle Power!”

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a superhero team that has been depicted in comic books, movies, and video games since the late 1980s. They’re known for fighting crime in the sewers of New York City using advanced martial arts taught to them by a mutant rat named Splinter. They have a human companion named April who used to be a scientist, and they absolutely love eating pizza! Let’s solve some math problems all about these unique superhero characters.

Choose the problem below that’s the right skill level for you. Take your time working it out. When you feel you’ve found the answer, check your solution against ours. No peeking, and have fun!

Lower Elementary:

Question: Mikey and his brothers Donnie, Raph, and Leo are comparing their heights. Leo’s height is between Raph’s and Donnie’s. If Raph is the second shortest, who is the shortest?

Upper Elementary:
Question: Three-fourths of a cannister of toxic ooze spills into a sewer. If 4 1fluid ounces of ooze is left inside the cannister, then how much ooze does the cannister hold in total?

Middle School:
Question: April is deciding what kind of job she should take. She’s deciding between jobs as a lab assistant (which will pay her $48.00 for 4 hours of work), a computer programmer (which will pay her $65.00 for 5 hours of work), and a reporter (which will pay her $69.00 for 6 hours of work). Which job should she take if she wants to earn the most money per hour?

High School and Up:
Question: A 16-inch pizza is cut into 6 equal slices. If 4 consecutive pieces are taken and eaten, then what is the area taken up by the remaining slices? (Hint: Pizzas are measured by their diameters.)


Nice job on working out today’s word problem! Are you ready to check your answer? Look below to see if your solution matches ours.

Lower Elementary:
Answer: Mikey
Solution: If Raph is the second shortest and Leo’s height is between Raph’s and Donnies, then both Leo and Donnie are taller than Raph. That means that Mikey must be the shortest.

Upper Elementary:
Answer: 18 ounces
Solution: Since 3of the cannister of ooze spilled, that means that 4 1fluid ounces is 1of the total amount of ooze the cannister can hold. So, the cannister can hold 4 1× 4 = 18 fluid ounces in total.

Middle School:
Answer: Computer Programmer
Solution: The lab assistant job pays $48.00 ÷ 4 = $12.00 per hour. The computer programmer job pays $65.00 ÷ 5 = $13.00 per hour. The reporter job pays $69.00 ÷ 6 = $11.50 per hour. So, if April wants to earn the most money per hour, she should take the job as a computer programmer.

High School and Up:
Answer: 21 1π square inches
Solution: Before any slices are eaten, the pizza takes up πr2 = 64π square inches. Since 4 out of 6 slices were eaten, that leaves 2 slices, so 1of the pizza is left over. That means that the area taken up by the remaining two slices is 1× 64π = 21 1π square inches.


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