You may also like

Butterfly Cards

Four children were sharing a set of twenty-four butterfly cards. Are there any cards they all want? Are there any that none of them want?

Planning a School Trip

You are organising a school trip and you need to write a letter to parents to let them know about the day. Use the cards to gather all the information you need.

Sorting Logic Blocks

This interactivity allows you to sort logic blocks by dragging their images.

Tom Learns to Cook

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Tom Learns to Cook

Tom has decided that the time has come - if he wants to eat, he's going to have to learn to cook.  His favourite meal is poached eggs and baked beans on toast, so he asks his friend Alison to show him how to make it.

Alison wants to make sure that she doesn't end up cooking it for him, so rather than showing him, she gives him a set of instruction cards.  

All Tom has to do is to put them in the right order, then follow the instructions.

Put the cards in the right order, and see what time Tom should get started, if he wants his supper to be ready by 7pm.

  • When should he put the water onto boil for the eggs?
  • When should he put the toast on?
  • When should he put the beans on?


Why do this problem?

This is one of a series of problems which students might encounter in Food Technology.
The problem originated in a real situation when someone cooked a beautiful meal, only noticing in the last five minutes that the recipe said 'Serve with rice' - by which time it was too late, if the rest wasn't to be ruined.
Mathematically, it gives practice in organising information.  The cards provided should be put in order, then a timeline can be drawn up.  To put the cards in order, students will need to know, find out or estimate how long some of the operations take.

Key questions

Do you have all the information you need to put the cards in order?  If not, how can you find it?

Will you start your timeline from the beginning of cooking the meal or from the end, working backwards?

Possible extension

Hmm ... when should Tom have put the rice on is a similar problem, but with more complex recipes to plan.

Possible support

Let students discuss in groups what information they need but don't have, and see if the group can come up with sensible answers so that they can together put the cards in the right order.