# Hens & Rabbits [for teachers]

- Author:
- Judah L Schwartz

The Hens & Rabbits applet describes a well-known word problem in two different representations.
A farmer has 50 animals. Some are hens & some are rabbits. Among them they have a total of 140 legs. How many hens and how many rabbits does the farmer have?
One representation of the problem shows the {animals, feet} plane and the other representation shows the {hens, rabbits} plane. [the '

*answer' to the question posed in the problem is 30 hens and 20 rabbits - the point {30 hens, 20 rabbits} is plotted in the right panel - the point {50 animals, 140 feet} is plotted in the left panel.*] You can choose to set the number of rabbits and hens in the right panel by dragging the GREEN and BLUE DOTS,*- you can choose to set the number of feet and animals in the left plane by dragging the GREEN and BLUE DOTS. Study the two representations carefully - How are the numbers of rabbits and the number of hens represented in the {animals, feet} plane? How are the number of animals and the number of feet represented in the {hens, rabbits} plane? How are the quantities feet/rabbit and feet/hen represented in each of the two planes? Which representation do you think provides you with more insight? Why?***or****How can you use this applet to generate more problems of this sort? What questions could/would you ask your students? What have you learned about word problems from this applet?**