Nineteen coins are what’s in this cup.
Better believe me ‘cause that’s what’s up.
There’s no peeking or you’ll never learn.
Wait ‘til the end when it’s your turn.
A dollar thirty is the total inside.
That’s the truth, I’ve never lied.
So how many nickels and how many dimes?
Figure it out. I’ve got no more rhymes.
Did you figure it out yet? This riddle will pique your students' interest just like it did yours. For this activity I used real coins, but you could use fake coins, or no coins at all. However, my students seemed to have more buy-in when there was something tangible in front of them.
There are a total of four riddles in this activity. I like to use this activity before I even mention the word 'systems'. Students will appreciate knowing a use for this method rather than jumping into problems.
Materials Needed (suggested):
Coins (either real of fake):
19 Nickels, 13 Dimes, 31 Quarters, and 5 Half Dollars
4 Sheets of Color Paper
4 Small Cups
4 Rubber Bands
4 Half-Sheets of Paper
1 Copy of Each of the Riddles
BTW: the answer is 12 nickels and 7 dimes.