Problem-Solving Strategies

Drawing a Diagram

Draw a Diagram

Draw a diagram is the most common problem-solving strategy. Very often, a problem solver needs to draw a diagram to understand the meaning of the problem. The diagram represents the problem in a way we can “see” it, understand it, and think about it while we look for the next step.

Question 1

Problem 1: Planting Grapes

Murat has decided to plant grapes in the garden behind his house. His neighbor Volkan has grown grapes successfully for a long time and has given Murat advice about how to plant vines. Volkan told him to plant them three meters apart in rows that are three meters apart. He also told him to leave at least three meters between each vine and the edge of the garden. Murat has measured the size of his garden and learned that it’s a rectangle with sides of 25 meters and 35 meters. How many vines should Murat buy?

Question 2

Problem 2: Drilling Holes

Four holes are drilled in a straight line in a rectangular steel plate. The distance between hole 1 and hole 4 is 35mm. The distance between hole 2 and hole 3 is twice the distance between hole 1 and hole 2. The distance between hole 3 and hole 4 is the same as the distance between hole 2 and hole 3. What is the distance, in millimeters, between the center of hole 1 and the center of hole 3?

Question 3

Problem 3: Wrapping Presents

Ayşegul is wrapping presents for her friends. She has made 10 rings for 10 friends using brightly colored polymer clay. She has bought 10 little jewelry boxes and now she is shopping for wrapping paper and ribbon. She estimates that she needs a rectangle of paper 20cm by 15cm to wrap each box. She finds lovely silver wrapping paper that is sold in 60cm x 60cm sheets. Since the paper is expensive, she does not want to buy too much. How many sheets should she buy?

Question 4

Problem 4: Circling the Earth

The diameter of the earth is 12756 km, and the circumference of the earth is 40075 km. If 15 meter poles were erected all the way around the equator and a wire were stretched from the top of one pole to the top of the next pole, all the way around the equator, how long would the wire be?

Question 5

Problem 4: Circling the Earth

The diameter of the earth is 12756 km, and the circumference of the earth is 40075 km. If 15 meter poles were erected all the way around the equator and a wire were stretched from the top of one pole to the top of the next pole, all the way around the equator, how long would the wire be?

Question 6

Problem 6: Climbing Snail

A snail is climbing up a drainpipe. Each day the snail climbs 8.5 meters. Every night it rains, however, and when it rains the snail slips back down 1 meter. How many days will it take the snail to reach the top of the drainpipe, which is 45 meters high?

Question 7

Problem 7: Only One Liter

Handan wants to make soup. The recipe says she should use one liter of water, but she does not have a one-liter container. She has a five-liter container and a three-liter container. How can she use these two containers to measure one liter of water?

Question 8

Problem 8: Patio

Mr. Baxter is making a pattern on the patio behind his house. It occupies an area of 3 x 3 meters, and he is using lovely terra cotta tiles that are 1 square meter. However, he discovers that one of these tiles is broken, and he decides to place nine smaller tiles in the middle of the square to replace the broken tile. He likes this idea very much, and he decides to replace the middle small tile with nine even smaller tiles. What is the size of the smallest tiles in the middle of his pattern?