We people love pancakes. It turns out some tortoises do, too. They’re the round-shelled reptile stars of this video. While turtles live in water, their cousin the tortoise likes to eat grass, fruits and veggies. But when handed a stack of tiny little pancakes, these tortoises see that maybe life has yummier food choices. The big tortoise dives right in and munches away, but the little tortoise — who is shorter than his stack of pancakes — isn’t so sure. How would you feel if you were served a stack of pancakes that’s taller than you? Actually, you might dive right in, too.
Wee ones: What shape do you think these tiny tortoise pancakes are?
Little kids: If the big tortoise has 3 pancakes and the teeny tortoise has 3 of his own, how many do they have together? Bonus: If the big guy eats all 3 pancakes and the little tortoise ends up eating 1, how many pancakes are left for you?
Big kids: If you can stack 10 people pancakes in a foot, how many pancakes would make a stack as tall as you? You can round your height to the nearest foot or half-foot for this one! Bonus: If you’re handed a stack of 60 pancakes and are hungry enough for only 1/4 of them, how many do you eat?
The sky’s the limit: If a group of 4 big tortoises and 2 tiny tortoises eats 30 pancakes in total, and each big tortoise eats twice as many as each tiny tortoise, how much does each size tortoise eat?
Wee ones: A circle. Their 3D shape is actually a very short, wide cylinder.
Little kids: 6 pancakes. Bonus: 2 pancakes.
Big kids: Different for everyone…round off your height, and add up 10 for every foot of height and another 5 pancakes for a half-foot. Bonus: 15 of them.
The sky’s the limit: Each tiny tortoise eats 3 pancakes, and each big tortoise eats 6 pancakes. Since each big tortoise eats double a tiny tortoise, together 2 big tortoises eat 4 times as much as each tiny tortoise, and thus, 4 big ones together also eat 4 times as much as 2 tiny tortoises. That means the tiny tortoises’ set plus 4 more of these sets makes 5 sets of pancakes, which means the pair of tinies eats 6 pancakes. So each tiny tortoise eats 3, and each big one eats double that, which is 6 apiece.
Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.