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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