The Bananas Problem

This problem is adapted from "The Mangoes Problem" found in Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School Vol. 1 No. 3 pages 205-210

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One night, Papa Chimp felt hungry. He swung into the treehouse kitchen and ate 1/6 of a bunch of bananas.

Next morning, Mama Chimp ate up 1/5 of what Papa Chimp had left before heading towards the market. Brother Chimp came home from school that afternoon and ate 1/4 of the remaining bananas. Sister Chimp saw what was left and took 1/3 of it.

Finally, Baby Chimp ate 1/2 of the remainder, leaving behind 6 bananas. How many bananas were on the bunch at first.


How to Use:

  1. Try working on a solution yourself before jumping to the solution strategies.

  2. Print this page and use a correction pen to "white-out" the links that name the different solution strategies.

  3. Have your child work out a solution. Then ask if he could solve the problem in another way. After he had done it, ask him to solve it again but in another way. If he is stuck, prompt him as to what should be the next step. At the end of the whole exercise, show him (and explain, if necessary) the different strategies in solving the problem ... use the links below.

Interactive Math Worksheets
Copyright by Alan & Hui Meng

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Solution Strategies: [ Work backwards ] [ Draw a picture ] [ Draw a part-whole model ]

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