The solution of this problem is very much like the solution of the basic Mary's Apples problems. There are not very many problems that can be called different. Problems have the appearance of being different by the words used and the arrangement of the words. For example, simple problems can be made to look complicated by using long sentences, unfamiliar words and convoluted grammar (tongue twisters). The so called real life problems can be constructed by including words which have familiar meaning in one's daily experience.
This has no effect on the problems solving process. Student can become more comfortable with word problems by recognizing this. See how many mind boggling problems you can create from a simple problem by playing with words and show that this does not change the steps in the solution. It only changes the words used in steps. The problem solving process is not changed.
Copyright 1997. Howard C. McAllister