Math Skills Lesson Plan: It’s All Fun and Games

Submitted by: Angela Watson

Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

In this math skills lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 3-12, students work collaboratively to research selected math skills. Students then create, play, and assess a math game that is designed to apply and reinforce their selected math concept.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Review a variety of math skills related to a specific unit of study.
  2. Work cooperatively to create a math game which reinforces math skills.
  3. Reflect on and assess the effectiveness of the game they created and the games of other students in the class.

Materials:

  • Computers with internet access for BrainPOP (or devices with access to the BrainPOP mobile app)
  • Materials for creating math games (poster board, markers, spinners, dice, graphing paper, calculators, playing cards, rulers, or whatever other items you would like students to use)

Preparation:

This lesson is designed to take approximately 3-8 class periods. It can be used at the end of a unit or at the end of the semester or school year to review what students have learned and/or as a form of assessment.

Preview the Math Movie Topics available on BrainPOP and select the ones that are appropriate for your students and most closely related to the concepts you want them to review. Then, plan out the supports you will put in place to help students in creating their math games. Younger students may need a simple form to fill out with their game proposal, as well as a selection of specific resources to use when creating their games. The more experience your students have with playing teacher-created and online math games (such as those available on BrainPOP's GameUp), the easier it will be for them to come up with quality game ideas.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Tell students that they will create a math game for their classmates to play. Divide students into groups/pairs or allow them to self-select groups.
  2. Show the list of BrainPOP topics you selected from the Math Movie Topics available on BrainPOP. Invite students to select one or more of these skills with their group and research it together. Encourage students to explore the FYI features to learn more and get ideas for game play.
  3. Have students create their game proposal explaining how the game will work and the math skills it will incorporate.The game should should challenge their classmates to apply their selected math skill to fictitious or real-world situations. Encourage students to use spinners, dice, graphing paper, calculators, playing cards, rulers, etc. to create their game.
  4. Have each group of students present their proposals to the class or to another group of students for feedback and assistance in refining the objective and rules of the game.
  5. Ask students to turn in their final proposals to you for approval. Help students clarify their game objectives and rules as needed.
  6. Give students time in class to create their game, play several practice rounds, and then turn their game in for you to check.
  7. Allow students to play one another's games during upcoming class periods. Each group of students should complete an assessment form for the game or write a comment summary giving constructive feedback on how well the game worked, how enjoyable it was, and how much it helped them practice their math skills.
  8. After students have played a variety of games, allow each group of students to read the feedback they received about their own game. Students should then self-reflect: What was successful about the game? What would they improve? If they completed this activity again, what would they do differently? What did they learn from creating a math game? What did they learn from playing their classmates' math games?

Extension Activity:

If you use math centers in your classroom, consider including students' math games in the centers so students can continue playing them throughout the school year. You can also have a math game day periodically throughout the school year in which students are able to play the games they created, as well as other math games (both online and paper-based) to practice applying their math skills.