Word Problem Wednesday: James and the Giant Peach

By Mathnasium | August 19, 2020


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

Lower Elementary:
Answer: the centipede, the grasshopper, the ladybug, the peach
Solution: The first thing we need to notice is that, even though the peach has the smallest number representing its weight, it’s weighed in tons. A ton is 2,000 pounds, so the peach is by far the heaviest. The smallest is the centipede at 150 pounds, the next larger bug is the grasshopper at 245 pounds, and the largest of the bugs is the ladybug at 399 pounds.

Upper Elementary:
Answer: 1,875 days
Solution: First, we need to know how many pounds of peach the friends are eating. Since a ton is 2,000 pounds, 8 tons is 16,000 pounds. The peach pit weighs half a ton, which is 1,000 pounds, so the friends eat a total of 15,000 pounds of peach. In total, they eat 8 pounds of peach per day, so we divide 15,000 ÷ 8 to find that it will take them 1,875 days to eat the whole peach.

Middle School:
Answer: The centipede prefers curry, the glowworm prefers roast beef, the grasshopper prefers noodles, and the ladybug prefers hot dogs.
Solution: To solve this problem, we eliminate possible favorites with each clue. We eliminate the curry as the favorite for the glowworm and the grasshopper first, then we eliminate the noodles for the centipede and the ladybug. Next, we know the ladybug prefers either hot dogs or roast beef, so she can’t have chosen noodles or curry. That leaves curry for the centipede. Since the ladybug had trouble choosing between hot dogs and noodles, she can’t have chosen roast beef. So, the ladybug likes noodles. We know the grasshopper almost chose (and therefore didn’t choose) roast beef, so the grasshopper’s favorite must be the noodles. The only option left for the glowworm is roast beef.

Algebra and Up:
Answer: 25 miles per hour
Solution: Since the seagulls’ speed is slowed by 5 miles per hour, we can represent their slowed speed as (x – 5) if x is the speed they fly in still conditions. Since “distance = rate × time,” we can set up the equation:

260 = (x – 5) × 13

When we solve for x, we get 25 miles per hour.