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The Hare and the Tortoise

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

The Hare and the Tortoise


Most of you will know the story of the hare and the tortoise with the moral tag "slow and steady wins the race".

Tortoise and hare.

In this version

  • The race is $10$ km (kilometres) long.
  • The hare runs at $10$ times the speed of the tortoise.
  • The tortoise take $2$ hours and $30$ minutes to complete the race.
  • The hare arrives at the finish $30$ seconds after the tortoise.

For how long does the hare sleep?


Why do this problem?

This problem could be used when distance and speed are being discussed or revised. There are several possible approaches to the problem so it could be useful for stimulating discussion. If learners work in pairs on the problem they are then able to talk through their ideas with a partner.

Key questions

What is the speed of the tortoise? So what is the speed of the hare?

If the hare had not stopped, how long before the tortoise would it have arrived?

Possible extension

Learners could make a graph of the race for the two animals.

Possible support

Suggest finding out the speed of the tortoise which is a good starting point. (The speed is the number of kilometres in an hour that is travelled.)