Patch Wants to Fly, Problem Solving Lesson Plan – Year 4/5/6/7


Summary of Lesson Plan:

In this lesson plan, students are provided with the opportunity to develop mathematical problem solving skills.  It provides students with a situation to convert grams and kilograms.  It is a fun lesson based on a topic that students find engaging.

Australian Curriculum Links:

Year 6 Mathematics:
  • Select and apply efficient mental and written strategies and appropriate digital technologies to solve problems involving all four operations with whole numbers. ACMNA123
  • Convert between common metric units of length, mass and capacity. ACMMG136

Lesson Plan Sequence:

Introduction/Warm up:

  • Start the lesson by introducing Patch (have a stuffed dog toy) and attached to Patch a helium balloon.  Tell the students that Patch wants to fly.
  • Read the following: Patch is no ordinary dog.  Instead of chasing balls, he chases birds!  This is mainly because he is far too small to carry a tennis ball in his tiny mouth.  Eggs in a nest have recently started to hatch and Patch desperately wants to see the baby birds.  Not because he wants to eat them, just because he likes birds so much.
  • Tell the students that Patch wants to approach the birds quietly so he doesn’t scare the baby birds.  (Discuss possible ways of flying silently).  Go on to tell the students that one helium balloon can lift 14 grams.
  • Patch weighs 1.2kg


  • Tell students that the aim of the lesson is to firstly find out how many balloons Patch needs to fly.
  • First hurdle: Once students have found the answer for the number of balloons needed tell them that Patch has been told by his mum that he needs to be safe.  Therefore he needs to wear a helmet which is weighs as much as the highest prime number below 100 and a life jacket (because there is a pond) which weighs 75% of the helmet’s weight.
  • Second hurdle:  each balloon costs $0.77 including helium and ribbon.  Patch saved $5.50 a week for 35 weeks; does he have enough money to purchase the balloons?


  • Class discussion about the strategies students used to work out their solutions.


  • If students are able to answer the first question they are working at standard, first hurdle good achievement of standard and second hurdle high achievement of standard.


  • Whiteboard
  • Whiteboad markers
  • Smartboard to display lesson
  • Balloons
  • Stuffed toy




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