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Play the Grid Game!

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Play the Grid Game!

Practise and consolidate factors of numbers and multiplication facts with this array-based Grid Game.



What you’ll need

Grid paper, coloured pencils, dice.


To colour the most squares on the grid.

How to play
  1. Set up each pair of students with a large piece of grid paper and two dice.
  2. The first player rolls the dice and adds the rolled numbers together to get a total. The player then colours squares on the grid to make an array for that number. For example, if the player rolls 3 and 5, they add those numbers together to make 8. They could then colour an array on the grid paper that is 1 x 8 or 2 x 4.
  3. Players take turns, each using a different colour to keep track of their own arrays. As the game progresses and the grid paper begins to fill, players must only use arrays that fit into free spaces or skip their turn.
  4. The game ends when the entire grid is full or after a set number of turns each.
  5. The player with the most coloured squares on the grid paper wins.

Roll larger numbers
Use several six-sided dice to roll larger total numbers or use dice that roll larger numbers (e.g. a 20-sided dice). Use this to consolidate factor pairs of larger numbers.

Increase the number of players
See how quickly the grid paper fills up when 3 or 4 players are involved. Use this for shorter games or when playing on a large grid.

Use multiple arrays
Allow players to split the rolled number into 2 or 3 smaller arrays. For example, a player could represent 18 by drawing a 1 x 6 array and a 2 x 6 array. Players should not split a number into 1 x 1 arrays. Use this to consolidate the distributive property.

Add double or triple point sections
Split the grid paper into 2 or 3 different sections using a marker or by folding the paper. Label each section as double or triple points. Any arrays that are drawn within these sections get double or triple points. Use this to increase the difficulty of the original game.

Discussion points

After all games are complete, encourage students to share and compare strategies and findings. Use these questions to encourage discussion:

  • Which player won? Can you explain why?
  • Is there a winning strategy when it comes to array shapes?
  • What array shapes were easiest to place on the grid? Why?
  • Which numbers were easy to draw arrays for? Which numbers made it hard?
  • If you played again, what would you do differently? How would this help?