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Would you rather…? Maths reasoning questions № 1

Would you rather…? Maths reasoning questions № 1

These Maths reasoning questions for KS1 or KS2 Maths lessons are ideal for displaying on your board as a starter, or to check for understanding at the end of a lesson.


Getting children talking about Maths, and working without support to tackle a tricky problem, are great ways to help your pupils become independent, problem-solving mathematicians.


Developing strong mathematical reasoning, and being able to use mathematical vocabulary to explain and justify that reasoning, are vital skills at the core of the primary curriculum. For that reason, creating regular opportunities for children to flex their maths muscles is something great schools and teachers try to do wherever possible!


To help, here's the first in a series of 'Would you rather…?' Maths reasoning questions which we're gradually releasing right here on our blog. In time, they'll build up into an invaluable resource for busy primary teachers which you can download and display for children to work through independently or with a partner.


These fun, visual problems are challenging, but open to interpretation by your pupils. For many of them, there is no 'right answer', but a choice of answers which children must first identify and choose from, then justify their choice using maths.


You'll find an explanation of the Maths involved in this 'Would you rather…?' Maths reasoning question directly underneath it, as well as links to all of the other questions in this problem-solving series.


'Would you rather…?' Maths reasoning question № 1:


Would you rather no 1 capacity


Would you rather have five 75cl bottles of cola or twelve 250ml bottles of cola?


Download this Maths problem as a PDF


Teacher's Notes


Download the image above to display on your board.


You may wish to give children the following clue:

A centilitre (cl) is one hundredth of a litre. A millilitre (ml) is one thousandth of a litre.


The 'solution':

The five 75 cl bottles contain 3.75l cola in total. The twelve 250ml bottles contain 3l cola in total. Therefore, if your aim is to have the greatest amount of cola, it is better to have the five larger bottles.


Children could show multiplication calculations on scrap paper or mini-whiteboards to support their reasoning. They might have reasons for choosing either, but stress that, whichever they choose, they justify their reason mathematically.


Check out the other 'Would you rather…?' Maths reasoning questions.

Looking for more Maths Problem Solving lessons and plans? Check out our ready-to-teach collection here.


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