Bears and Fish

“It is winter in the arctic. An Eskimo comes across the frozen sea and makes holes in the ice to fish through. After a few hours of fishing he decides that he has caught enough fish and departs. Slowly the polar bears emerge. Wary of each other they circle the abandoned fishing holes to explore the potential for a meal.”

We roll 5 dice….. and you get to figure out how many bears and how many fish there are!


Here are some examples:  




We have 2 bears and 23 fish.


 We have 6 bears and 16 fish.



 We have 12 bears and 17 fish.


Polar Bears occur in pairs,

By holes in the ice they gather round,

How many bears can there be?

How many fish under the sea?


This problem can be found here.


About webmaths

I have been teaching Mathematics in Victorian secondary schools for 30 years. I use the www to make my maths lessons better. I hope this blog will give other teachers some ideas to try in their own classes.
This entry was posted in Problem Solving and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Bears and Fish

  1. Caitlyn Cormick says:

    the number underneath the dice is how many fish there are!– eg– 1 & 6,, 3 & 4,, 5 & 2…
    so if the number is 5… the number of fish is 2..

    only dice with the numbers 5 and 3 on them can have bears.. the number of bears are the number of dots gathering around ther centre dot.

    “Well done Caitlyn, your solution is correct! It arrived at 4:04pm beating Cayne by 18 minutes – a prize awaits you on Thursday!” Mr.T

  2. Cayne says:

    Bears ar the outside dots on the 3’s and 5’s and fish are counted as the downward facing sides of the die

    “Well done Cayne – just pipped by Caitlyn!” Mr.T

  3. emma says:

    yeah a 3 is worth 2 bears and 5 is worth 4.
    The fish are the numbers facing downwards added up..
    Like 1 would be 6 fish and 2 would be 5 and so on.

    “Well done Emma – see me to collect a prize! Mr. T”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s