6.1 A Problem Solving Plan

Learning Objectives

Introduction

The Orangutan Adoption

Tyler loves to visit the orangutans at the Como Park Zoo. The orangutans are one of four living types of great apes. They are reddish-orange in color and swing and climb all around. Tyler thinks that they are very social as the orangutans often come up to the glass to peer at him when he visits. Tyler could stay at the orangutan exhibit for hours.

In his last visit, Tyler saw a sign about orangutan adoption at the zoo. This piqued his interest, so he investigated more about it.

At many zoos, including the zoo in Tyler’s town, you can adopt a specific animal or species of animal. Any money donated goes directly to the care of this species of animal. You can adopt an animal for any amount from  to .

Tyler has decided to use the money from his summer job to adopt an orangutan.

Tyler is working this summer doing yard work for his neighbors. Because of his excellent work ethic, he has many clients. Tyler figures out that he will make $125.00 per week on yard work.

There are different adoption pledge levels:

If Tyler works for eight weeks, how much money will he collect?

How much can he pledge to adopt the orangutan for at the end of eight weeks?

What will Tyler’s pledge level be?

To help Tyler figure this out, we are going to use a problem solving plan.

In this lesson, you will learn all about a four-part problem solving plan that can help you figure out how much money Tyler can use for his orangutan adoption.

Guided Learning

Read and Understand a Given Problem Situation

To begin this lesson, we are going to apply each step of the four-part problem solving plan to our orangutan adoption problem.The first step is to read and understand the given problem.

To do this, we are going to go back and re-read the problem.

We want to figure out two things.

  1. What information have we been given?
  2. What do we need to figure out?

Here is the original problem once again.

Tyler loves to visit the orangutans at the city zoo. The orangutans are one of four living types of great apes. They are reddish-orange in color and swing and climb all around. Tyler thinks that they are very social as the orangutans often come up to the glass to peer at him when he visits. Tyler could stay at the orangutan exhibit for hours.

In his last visit, Tyler saw a sign about orangutan adoption at the zoo. This piqued his interest and so he investigated more about it.

At many zoos, including the city zoo in Tyler’s town, you can adopt a specific animal or species of animal. Any money donated goes directly to the care of this species of animal. You can adopt an animal for any amount from  to .

Tyler has decided to use the money from his summer job to adopt an orangutan.

Tyler is working this summer doing yard work for his neighbors. Because of his excellent work ethic, he has many clients. Tyler figures out that he will make  per week on yard work.

There are different adoption pledge levels:

If Tyler works for eight weeks, how much money will he collect?

How much can he pledge to adopt the orangutan for at the end of eight weeks?

What will Tyler’s pledge level be?

There is a lot of information in this problem.

Some of it we need and some of it we don’t.

Let’s underline any information that we think might be necessary in solving the problem.

Next, notice that there are three questions at the end of the problem. These questions tell us what we need to solve for this problem.

  1. If Tyler works for eight weeks, how much will he collect?
  2. How much can he pledge to adopt the orangutan?
  3. What will his pledge level be?

The first thing that we will need to figure out is how much money Tyler will make in 8 weeks.

Here is the information that we have been given in the problem.

Tyler makes  per week.

Tyler works for 8 weeks.

Until we know how much he makes in 8 weeks, we can’t move on to answering any other questions.

We need a plan to help us.

Make a Plan to Solve the Problem

Now that we have read the problem, underlined the given information and figured out what we are looking for, our next step is to make a plan.

The first big thing that we need to figure out is how much money Tyler will make at the end of eight weeks.

Tyler used a calendar to help figure this out.

Each week, Tyler filled in the amount of money he made. He wrote this amount in on Friday.

Tyler made $125.00 per week for 8 weeks.

Once you have given information, you will need to choose an operation to help you solve the problem.

Which operation can help us to figure out Tyler’s total at the end of eight weeks?

We could use addition or multiplication.

Since multiplication is a short cut, let’s use multiplication.

This is our plan for solving the problem.

Next, we work on solving the problem.

Solve the Problem and Check the Results

To solve the problem and check our results, we are going to first write an equation.

We use multiplication and our given information to write this equation.

$ total amount of money made

 the total amount of money made

Our answer is that Tyler made $1000 in eight weeks.

Next, we need to check our results.

The best way to check our results is to think about other ways that we could have solved the problem.

If we get the same answer using a different strategy, then we can be sure that our work is accurate.

Compare Alternative Approaches to Solving the Problem

We chose to use multiplication to figure out the sum of Tyler’s money.

Is there another way that we could have solved the problem?

We could have used repeated addition to solve the problem.

Let’s do this and then see if we get the same answer that we did when we multiplied.

Our answer is .

By solving this problem using another method, we can be sure that our work is correct.

Real Life Example Completed

The Orangutan Adoption

We just finished figuring out how much money Tyler made for the summer. We can now use our answer to complete this problem.

Let’s look at the problem once more so that we can answer the questions.

Tyler loves to visit the orangutans at the Como Park Zoo. The orangutans are one of four living types of great apes. They are reddish-orange in color and swing and climb all around. Tyler thinks that they are very social as the orangutans often come up to the glass to peer at him when he visits. Tyler could stay at the orangutan exhibit for hours.

In his last visit, Tyler saw a sign about orangutan adoption at the zoo. This piqued his interest, so he investigated more about it.

At many zoos, including the zoo in Tyler’s town, you can adopt a specific animal or species of animal. Any money donated goes directly to the care of this species of animals. You can adopt an animal for any amount, from  to .

Tyler has decided to use the money from his summer job to adopt an orangutan.

Tyler is working this summer doing yard work for his neighbors. Because of his excellent work ethic, he has many clients. Tyler figures that he will make  per week on yard work.

There are different adoption pledge levels:

If Tyler works for eight weeks, how much money will he collect?

How much can he pledge to adopt the orangutan for at the end of eight weeks?

What will Tyler’s pledge level be?

We have already answered the first question here. We completed it using our problem solving plan.

If Tyler works for eight weeks and makes  per week, he will have  to adopt an orangutan.

Given the pledge levels, Tyler will be at the highest pledge level.

Tyler's purchase will be a GOLD level adoption.

Tyler lets us know that everyone can make a difference. You can investigate adopting an animal by visiting your local zoo or animal shelter.

Review

1) Read and understand a given problem situation.

2) Make a plan to solve the problem.

3) Solve the problem and check the results

4) Compare alternative approaches to solving the problem.

Video Resources

Word Problem Video