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The Egyptian Woodcarving

bithell4dThe Egyptian theme continues with the student presentation of the ancient woodcarving problem. We like how Ms. Bithell brings it up to date by introducing the problem as part of an Internet auction. 

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Enough about stuffed marine mammals. Let's view the clip.

bithell4cTo summarize, the woodcarving's dimensions in the picture are 10 by 7.5 centimeters and the actual width is 15.5 inches. The problem is to determine the actual length (the longer dimension).

In the following assessment, you first will confirm the results obtained by the students. Then, you will see how, with a very minor change, a problem such as this can be extended to incorporate more algebraic thinking and language. Specifically, instead of telling the students that the actual width is 15.5 inches, you can tell them that the actual width is w inches, where w is some positive number.