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Moves Count

Design an original board game to use math skills.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Ask students what their favorite board games are. Which ones use math? Here is a chance for students to create an original game. Design it to challenge math skills!
    2. Students groups determine a theme. What math skills and facts are to be featured? How will players move forward? Encourage students to plan some frustrating pitfalls in the game. Figure out how players will pay for their mistakes, too. Come up with some great game strategies!
    3. Student teams invent their own imaginative board, game pieces, and rules. Using Crayola Colored Pencils, sketch a spiral of connected blocks on foam board. Begin in the center. End the spiral near the outer edge of the board. With Crayola Washable Markers, write START on the last block.
    4. Students draw a symbol, number, or small picture in each block to match the theme and strategies. Design and color the rest of the board.
    5. Create unique game pieces with Crayola Model Magic. Sculpt landmarks such as bridges, wind tunnels, or trees.
    6. Students cut out paper cards with Crayola Scissors. Write directions on each card, such as Move 1 step forward, Move 4 steps back, Go to the red bridge, or Lose a Turn. Make dice with Crayola Model Magic.
    7. To play, players choose a card (or roll the dice) in turn and move accordingly. The first player to reach the center of the board wins!
  • Standards

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    MATH: Read and write multi-digit whole numbers using base-ten numerals, number names, and expanded form. Compare two multi-digit numbers based on meanings of the digits in each place, using >, =, and < symbols to record the results of comparisons.

    MATH: Use place value understanding to round multi-digit whole numbers to any place.

    MATH: Fluently add and subtract multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.

    MATH: Use the four operations to solve word problems involving distances, intervals of time, liquid volumes, masses of objects, and money, including problems involving simple fractions or decimals, and problems that require expressing measurements given in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

  • Adaptations

    Students work in teams to create their games. Challenge students to write clear, concise directions for others to use when playing the game. Swap games with another team. How well can you follow the directions?

    Expand the focus of student-made games to other academic areas such as geography, spelling, or science. Build both facts and skills into the strategies.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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