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Word Problem Wednesday: A Day on a Farm

Aug 5, 2020

Introduction

Pigs, puppies, ducks and sheep… what do they all have in common? They’re part of this week’s word problems about life on a farm.

Scroll down below, and read this week’s description with your child. 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 solutions.

Work and Play on a Bright, Sunny Day

A day on a farm can be very busy! Getting up early, feeding piglets and puppies, herding sheep ... any farmer would be lucky to have some help. Here's some practice to see if you're up to the challenge!

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

Lower Elementary:
Question: A sheepdog has a litter of 7 puppies and 1 adopted piglet. Each puppy eats 2 cups of food per day. The piglet eats twice as much as a puppy. How many cups of of food do the baby animals need each day in total?

Upper Elementary:
Question: One farmer sleeps through his alarm clock 3 times every 12 days. Another farmer has a duck that wakes him up 2 out of every 3 days by quacking. Which wakeup method is more effective, the alarm clock or the duck?

Middle School:
Question: Esme makes a dollhouse that is a perfect miniature of her own farmhouse. The farmhouse is 12 yards wide. The dollhouse is 18 inches wide. What are the dimensions of a miniature refrigerator that goes inside the dollhouse if the real-life refrigerator in the farmhouse is 3 feet wide, 2 feet deep, and 5 feet tall?

Algebra and Up:
Question: A pig and a border collie are competing in a sheep herding competition. When the pig approaches the sheep at a rate of 11 mph, the sheep walk away at a rate of 3 mph. When the border collie chases the sheep at a rate of 25 mph, the sheep run away at a rate of 20 mph. Which animal catches up to the sheep faster?

Solutions

Lower Elementary:
Solution: Since each of the 7 puppies eats 2 cups of food each day, all of the puppies eat 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 cups of food in a day. The piglet eats twice as much as a puppy, and twice as much as 2 cups is 4 cups. So, the baby animals eat 14 + 4 = 18 cups of food in total.

Upper Elementary:
Solution: Since the farmer sleeps through his alarm 3 times every 12 days, he wakes up to his alarm clock 9 times every 12 days. So, the alarm clock is successful 9 ÷ 12 = 34 of the mornings it’s used. The duck wakes up the farmer 2 ÷ 3 = 23 of the mornings it quacks. Since 34 is more than 23, the alarm clock is more effective than the duck.

Middle School:
Answer: 112 inches wide × 1 inch deep × 212 inches tall
Solution: Twelve yards is 36 feet, and 18 inches is 112 feet. So, the dimensions of the farmhouse are 36 ÷ 112 = 24 times the dimensions of the dollhouse and the dollhouse’s dimensions are 124 the dimensions of the farmhouse: 124 of 3 feet (36 inches) is 112 inches. 124 of 2 feet (24 inches) is 1 inch. 124 of 5 feet (60 inches) is 212 inches.

Algebra and Up:
Solution: The distance between the pig and the sheep closes at a rate of 11 – 3 = 8 miles per hour. The distance between the border collie and the sheep closes by 25 – 20 = 5 miles per hour. Since the distance between the pig and the sheep closes faster than the distance between the border collie and the sheep, the pig catches up faster.

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