The Legs Problem-For All AgesReport as inadecuate

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Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, v10 n1 p18-20 2005

This article presents an example of a versatile multi-solution problem that can be used right across the primary years. The basic problem is: "Noah saw 16 legs go past him into the Ark. How many creatures did he see?" Any even number can be used, although, 2 legs allows only one answer and with 16 legs there are already 14 different solutions, so teachers need to exercise caution in using large numbers. The teacher should encourage discussion around the interpretation of the problem and of the range of possibilities. (Contains 4 figures.)

Descriptors: Animals, Recreational Facilities, Primary Education, Foreign Countries, Problem Solving, Computation, Arithmetic, Educational Strategies, Learning Strategies, Thinking Skills, Story Telling, Teaching Methods, Mathematics Education

Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). GPO Box 1729, Adelaide 5001, South Australia. Tel: +61-8-8363-0288; Fax: +61-8-8362-9288; e-mail: office[at]; Web site:

Author: Way, Jenni


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