Ratio Practice: Real Life Math for 6th Grade

Looking for ways to help your 6th graders see and make use of ratios in real life? This set of camping ratio practice problems is a great way to explore and apply ratios!

I recently spent an extended season living in and traveling in an RV with my family. It was a unique and fun way to explore and see parts of the country we’ve never seen! It was also a fun way to meet other campers and explore the great outdoors. Although we saw and did lots of fun things on our journey, the one request my kids made over and over and over (especially when they made friends with other kids at the campsites!) was to make s’mores. Apparently that never gets old! And so we have the inspiration for this set of camping-themed ratio practice problems. I hope you enjoy it!

Using Ratios in Real Life:

Often, kids are introduced to ratios and are given simplistic problems that don’t actually challenge them or show them the usefulness of ratios.

Obviously, they need to understand how to write and read ratios, and simplify ratios, but beyond that? Can you present problems using ratios to push your kids further?

I think so!

This set of camping-themed problems present a situation and then challenge students to answer related questions using ratios and proportional reasoning.

Even if you haven’t explicitly taught your students how to solve these problems, I would encourage you to assign them anyway and see what kinds of strategies your kids use!

Giving students a context will help them to begin to make sense of ratios and proportional reasoning, laying an important foundation for Algebra.

It will also help them see how changing the ratio can change the problem.

Ratio Practice Problems Included:

This download includes 3 pages of ratio problems that build on each other. They are all related (the Frazier family is planning their annual camping trip and needs your help!), so you’ll want to start with the first page and let students solve them in order.

Problems include things like:

  • If the capacity of their tents has a ratio of 3 kids: 2 adults and there are 9 kids, how many adults can go camping?
  • They want the s’mores ratio to be 2 marshmallows : 3 pieces of chocolate : 1 graham cracker. If they have 24 marshmallows, how many s’mores can they make?
  • Mrs. Frazier brought 96 marshmallows, 160 pieces of chocolate, and 64 graham crackers. What is the ratio for each s’more?

And more!

Discussing the Problems as a Group:

In order for this set of ratio practice to have the most impact, it is important that you allow students to discuss their strategies for thinking about and solving these problems.

Did they draw a picture? Did they multiply and divide? How? Why?

Allowing all students to see different ways to approach and think about these problems will help them to better understand and expose them to mathematical reasoning they may not have considered on their own.

One idea is to put students in groups of 2 or 3 to begin. Allow them to discuss and solve the problems together first, then open it up to the class.

Let each group share their solutions and their reasoning. It’s important that they share how they arrived at their solution, not just the final answer.

This will push students to learn how to articulate their strategies (this takes some work!) but will also help other students who thought about it differently (or did not get the right answer).

Remember, there is always more than one way to solve a math problem, so it’s good for students to see that!

Seeing Ratios in Real Life

Although this may be challenging for your students at first (especially if they are not used to applying ratios to real life problems), it will be worth it to help them build up their number sense,  and flexibility in problem solving.

Seeing how proportions can be used and applied is a math skill that will carry over into many other math concepts, such as scale models, indirect measurement, percent problems, and linear equations in Algebra.

I hope this fun challenge gives you an easy way to weave in meaningful math problem solving. You might even want to make s’mores together as a class when they finish it up!

Ready to grab this freebie? Click the link below to go to my shop and grab it!

{Click HERE to go to my shop and grab the FREE Ratio Practice: Camping Problem Set!}

Find More Ideas for Exploring Ratios & Real Life Math Below:

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