Math fascinates students when they have a reason to find the answers.
- How many cows to feed my men?
- How many fresh horses must be ready to ride?
- If smallpox will kill 2/3 of us, how many will recover?
- How many minnie balls can my mother’s pewter plates become?
- How many gallons of water must I haul for 30 injured men?
- How much must I charge for the moccasins I make in order to eat and buy supplies to make more?
Lesson: Paul Revere’s Horse
Paul Revere was riding Brown Beauty (a borrowed horse of exceptional strength and speed) the night that he spread the alarm. En route to Lexington, he and his mount had raced over rough and sometimes steep terrain, at times fleeing from soldiers through the countryside. Later that same night, other British soldiers stole the horse from Revere between Lexington and Concord. Listen to what happened next…
Solve This Problem
A fit horse can gallop over rough terrain while carrying a heavy man for between 10 and 15 miles before needing rest. On the night of April 18th, Paul Revere rode Brown Beauty, one of the fastest and strongest horses in Massachusetts, in order to spread the alarm about the coming British attack of Lexington and Concord. His route was first Charlestown to Mystic, a distance of 4.5 miles. Then from Mystic to Lexington, they raced 9 more miles.
- How far did Brown Beauty travel on the way to Lexington?
- If Revere later rode nonstop from Boston to New York City to spread the news of Patriot victory, changing horses every 10 miles, and the distance was 210 miles, how many different horses would he ride?
(Most children in upper elementary school care deeply about horses, and the fate of Revere’s mount upsets them far more than the deaths of men who fought in the battle.)