# Getting Students to Draw the Problem

Posted September 1, 2009

on:I’ve always found it challenging to get students to draw the problems. I don’t understand their reluctance, I can’t imagine trying to keep the facts in my head, yet so many of them do just that. The result is that they miss details and make mistakes.

Today I saw a simple problem that I thought I would use as an introduction to drawing problems. The simple word problem says:

[Updated as used in class] There is a triangularly shaped park with trees along the edge. There is a tree at each vertex. Each side has five trees. How many trees are there all together?

Very simple problem if you just draw it. The answer is not 15.

### 10 Responses to "Getting Students to Draw the Problem"

Well-maybe.

No where in the question does it state that there are trees at the vertices of the triangle. There could easily be 5 trees located on each side with none at the vertices.

I like it better this way. Glad to hear that they knew what a vertex was.

Andrew-

Not sure if you are trying to make a joke or not, but your website cartoon is in error. A 2.5 angle of elevation would imply that the other angle at the observer is 2.5 degrees, or that the one you have labeled 2.5 is really 87.5 degrees. The answer comes out to 1603 ft.

This assumes he measures the elevation angle from the same level as the base of the lighthouse.

yeah…

see the joke is he incorrectly labels the angle of elevation… haha oh well I tried

Sorry. Of course anyone that lets a 3″ tall guy drive a motorboat is asking for trouble anyway.

I have the same problem, even though I draw each of the problems when I work it out as an example. I think the logic goes as follows:

Q.Does it directly affect my grade?

A. Yes –> Ok… I guess I have to do it…

A. No –> Too much effort. Not going to do it.

1 | bioariel

September 11, 2009 at 12:07 am

I would’ve guessed 15, but knowing that is not the answer I imagined the park and came up with…12.

First time here, great blog… I teach chemistry so I am going to browse more later to look for useful resources 😀

Thanks!