# Number Properties Clue Game

This is one of a several very useful maths games based on ‘number properties’.

I first used this way back in the 1980’s; it is an ideal activity in that it puts the learning in the hands of the children and encourages good language (speaking and listening) skills and cooperative ‘play’.

You will need a set of 1 to 25 cards and a set of ‘clue cards’ - see the downloadable file link below*.

Here’s the example:
Two children (Alison and Ben) work together, they sort the 1-25 cards into order and place them face-up on the table.

The first player (Alison) takes a set of four clue cards (pictured above), reads out each clue and guesses which single number the cards describe. On this occasion Alison decides the number will be '15', she explains to Ben why she thinks the number she has chosen is correct: "15 is higher than 12 and a multiple of 3".

Then, by working with each clue card in turn the children help each other to sort through the numbers until only one remains. For example:

The fist clue card helps them to eliminate a large range of numbers. Now they only have eight possibilities left.

The second clue card eliminates more numbers - leaving only four possibilities. At this point Alison realises she did not take this 'clue' into account when making her earlier calculations.

The next clue card is not so helpful - eliminating only one other number

The final clue card reduces the number to only one choice. Alison and Ben discuss the outcome while they reassemble the 25 digit cards, Ben then choosed four clue cards for his turn.

Note: the four clues on each set of ‘clue cards’ have been designed to split the original 0-25 set until only one number remains. They can be used in any order (in fact it is a useful exercise for children who have just used a set of clue cards to reuse the same set in a new order... just to see what happens).

The downloadable pdf* file includes 10 sets of four clue cards and a set of 1-25 digit cards.

Credits – based on a series of ‘number properties’ games described by Dave Kirkby (Sheffield Polytechnic)

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## Comment viewing options

### A nice variation on the

A nice variation on the "guess my nuimber" game. Thanks. Could be used in reverse e.g.  my number is x who has the correct clue cards?
1 user has voted.

### What a fantastic math

What a fantastic math resources! Excellent for getting the children settled at the start of a lesson and really getting them thinking!
0 users have voted.

### What a fantastic resources!

What a fantastic resources! Excellent for getting the children settled at the start of a lesson and really getting them thinking!
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### I am always looking for new

I am always looking for new ways to inspire my own taaching and to engage my KS3 SEN kids in active learning, as teachers of special needs - it can become all too easy to have low expectations and not make the activities challenging enough. Many thanks
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### Really good to hear

Really good to hear mathsticks maths resources are useful in KS3 as well as Key Stages 1 and 2. Thanks for the feedback.
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### This will be a good resource

This will be a good resource for speaking and listening.
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### Great! A quick and easy

Great! A quick and easy resource. I plan to use this once a week to begin my problem solving maths lesson. A brilliant way to consolidate new maths vocabulary in a fun context. Thanks for this one!
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### Found this really useful with

Found this really useful with a weaker group of children during station teaching in 5th Class. The more able groups were using the number properties game that is listed before this one. This differentiated the activity nicely.
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### Very versatile. Eg use just 1

Very versatile. Eg use just 1 or 2 cards to start with for younger children.
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### I can't wait to try this

I can't wait to try this with my students
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### LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT, WHAT

LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT, WHAT MORE CAN I SAY
1 user has voted.

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### I can't wait to try this with

I can't wait to try this with my class. Sounds great.
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### this is a good extension

this is a good extension activity. you could just let the kids get on with this independently
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### this is a good extension

this is a good extension activity. you could just let the kids get on with this independently
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### fantastic resource, can't

fantastic resource, can't wait to use it with my class
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### I have been trawling the net

I have been trawling the net for a very long time downloading resources for my childrens school. I needn't of bothered, I should have come straight to you. I love your take on maths and learning! Thank you!
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### Kim, Many thanks for your

Kim, Many thanks for your kind comments. It is always good to hear that the maths resources here have been useful. I set the site up with the initial aim of offering mathematical games and activities that offered meaningful learning opportunities rather than 1001 worksheets to be constantly handed out. It's really refreshing to know that so many people share that view.

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### This was a great game for

This was a great game for students that love challenges! My 6th graders loved it.
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### Great activity - my class

Great activity - my class will enjoy the element of puzzling out which numbers they have used. Thankyou
1 user has voted.

### A great resource and easily

A great resource and easily adapted to create more examples of the same once the children have figured these ones out. Thank you for the idea as well at the resource!
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### This a fantastic and

This a fantastic and versatile resource whic I will use for group work (independent and with adults) mental starters and will be recommending that the 1-1 teacher uses this site for resourcing her groups.
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### My top Maths group loved

My top Maths group loved these! Thank you!
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### Thank you so much! Have just

Thank you so much! Have just stumbled upon this site and I am so keen to share tomorrow at school!
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About to download ths as it looks brilliant for encouraging children to engage with numbers and promote their thinking about number properties and number facts. Thank you
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### Thanks for this great

Thanks for this great resource. A great way to check to see if my kids have remembered the properties of different numbers.
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### Use this sort of starter

Use this sort of starter activity but mine doesn't look as organised so this is great. It will also be easy to adapt with other numbers and encouraging the children to write some of their own clues on blank cards will show understanding. Thank you
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### This resource is simple but

This resource is simple but effective. I'm sure my Primary 5 class will enjoy playing it this year.
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### This was a great resource!

This was a great resource! Thank you
0 users have voted.

### simple but effective. Thanks

simple but effective. Thanks
0 users have voted.