There are some children and donkeys on a beach.
Together they have 24 heads and 72 feet.
How many donkeys? How many children?
Topics: Starter  Algebra  Simultaneous Equations
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Note to teacher: Doing this activity once with a class helps students develop strategies. It is only when they do this activity a second time that they will have the opportunity to practise those strategies. That is when the learning is consolidated. Click the button above to regenerate another version of this starter from random numbers.
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Teacher, do your students have access to computers such as tablets, iPads or Laptops? This page was really designed for projection on a whiteboard but if you really want the students to have access to it here is a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments: Transum.org/go/?Start=August23 However it would be better to assign one of the student interactive activities below. 

The following activity called Unbeknownst also generates situations best solved using simultaneous equations. There are a number of different levels of difficulty and each level can be regenerated to produce a different puzzle. The link is here:
See the National Curriculum page for links to related online activities and resources.