Local Student
Chased Up A Tree!!!
A Math Webquest

This is an image of a Grizly Bear

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 Essential Question: 

The headline screams, "Local Student Chased Up A Tree!!!"

     Oh No!!!  Will this poor student survive?   


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 Introduction: The Problem

Your friend shows you an article from a recent Time Magazine for Kids. It says:

On a recent class trip to Yellowstone National Park, a student was chased to the top of a very slippery tree that was thirty-six (36) feet high. The teacher tried to save the student but it was no use, so she used her cell phone to call in the park rangers.  One quick thinking ranger, immediately dispatched a helicopter to rescue the student.  He told the teacher it would take exactly twelve (12) minutes for the helicopter to arrive, drop a ladder, and help the student climb up to safety.

Meanwhile, back at the scene, the Bear began to climb the tree.  It climbed up eight (8) feet in one minute time but the next minute the bear slid back down the tree four (4) feet.  This pattern of going up eight (8) feet up in one minute and sliding back down four (4) feet the next minute continued.

Unfortunately, the bottom of the article got chewed off by your friends new puppy.  Use your math skills and math materials available to you in your classroom (paper, pencil, ruler, manipulatives...) to figure out whether the student survived or not!

Rewrite the missing end of the article explaining whether the student survived or not.  Make sure that you include an explanation of your how you figured this out, an detailed picture to illustrate your thoughts, and your reasoning why you figured it out the way you did.


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  • Strategy Discussion: Using a Diagram (Representation) to Figure out the Problem
  • Discuss:  How can I make an A+ diagram?
  • Read and Solve the problem.
  • Write up your answer to the problem
  • Assess your work using our rubric.


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Problem Solving Strategy (Drawing, Charting, Graphing, Creating a Model
Searching For Solutions: Drawing a Diagram
Make a Model or Diagram
Draw a Picture
Draw a Picture
Use a Sketch

Addition and Subtraction
Addition Homework Helper  This should be your first stop to check your addition work.
Subtraction Homework Helper This should be your first stop to check your addition work.

Interactive Addition Table  This table will be a great help once you get started.
Online Calculator A little slow but a great tool.
Ask Dr. Math He's a real Math Expert!
Interactive Addition Problems  Not a pretty site but it can be helpful with practicing addition.
Flashcards Use these flash cards to check your work.
More Flash Cards  These Java Flashcards are really fun and helpful.


Learn more about Yellowstone and Grizzlies (click here)


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 Activity:  Solve the Problem

We have to find out what happened to this student.  I suggest that we start out by thinking about how a diagram (a math picture with detail, color and labels)  could help us to solve this problem.  Let's look at some diagrams that we have done before so that we can develop some guidelines that we can use to make sure that we create a clear diagram that will help us to solve this problem.    Then, we can use those guidelines to help us to solve this problem.  Finally, we will do our best to explain how we came up with our answer.   

***See our Teaching Tips page for further details on this
 activity or one of our many other creative activities.***


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 Assessment:  View the Representation Rubric below or 
                            Click Here for our full Problem Solving Rubric

  Representation Rubric

    Focus Discussion   

Evidence that standard was exceeded

Required Skills

Evidence that standard was not met


Diagram, Graphs, and Charts-

q       Did you show the work that you did visually by using a graph, diagram, chart, …?
q       Were all pieces labeled with a descriptor?
q       Were all pieces labeled with numbers and units?
q       Did you use appropriate drawing tools?
q       Did you draw on appropriate paper?
q       Did you use color to enhance your representation?



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 Extension Resources

Yellowstone National Park
Fantastic Journeys: Yellowstone - explore the park and check out Old Faithful.
Photo Hunt in Yellowstone - explore nature in majestic Yellowstone National Park while playing the demo of this fun game that combines virtual travel, trivia, and competition.
Yellowstone Journal - An online, seasonal news journal with information about animals, geysers and other aspects of the area.
Yellowstone National Park (NPS) - history, directions and activities.
Yellowstone's Fires and their Legacy - comprehensive online guide to the causes and effects of the Yellowstone fires of 1988.
Pictures of Yellowstone National Park - collected by the University of Montana's School of Forestry.
Conflict Yellowstone Wolves is a real-life inquiry-oriented activity that challenges students to solve a current complex problem. Students will interact with experts, study past history, and develop a solution to the heated debate on reintroducing wolves into Yellowstone National Park. The project concludes with the students writing and sending a letter to the editor or government official.

Grizzly Bears

Brown Bears: Creature Feature National Geographic provides excellent information with fun facts, video, and audio.
Grizzly  Excellent detailed information backed up with images and maps.
The Bear Den: All About Bears  Facts about different species of bears, bear sounds, information about TAG and contributions, and bear-related games.
Grizzly Bears  The Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, a national park in northwest Alaska, provides some descriptive data on the grizzly bears in the Preserve, and what they look like, eat, and how to deal with one if you encounter it.
Grizzly Discovery Center  Located in Yellowstone National Park, this center is devoted to the preservation of the threatened grizzly bear. Click on the section called "Meet the Bears" and you can get a profile and photo of the grizzly bears at the center.
Bear Etiquette  A good overview of the do's and don'ts in bear country.
Tips when entering Bear Country  From Alaska Outdoor Journal.
Help ensure the long-term survival of the Yellowstone grizzly bear Your sponsorship of a Yellowstone grizzly will help the Yellowstone Grizzly Foundation identify conservation measures vital to the grizzly's long-term survival and educate the public about the Yellowstone grizzly population.


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Created: December 15, 2000 
Last Updated: April 8, 2004