Resource 5: Multiplication games

Teacher resource for planning or adapting to use with pupils

The games below come from [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] (Accessed 2008)

They are great fun for your pupils. If you have any other ideas for multiplication games and can access the Internet, why not send your ideas in to the TESSA website? Put Ghana on the mathematics map!

1. Times tables card game

This game is played by two players with a deck of cards with the jokers and face cards removed. Players shuffle the deck and deal them all out face down. Each player flips over a card from his or her pile. The first player to call out the correct answer gets to collect two flipped over cards. If a player calls out the wrong answer the other player gets the cards. Players continue until all the cards have been flipped over. The winner is the player with the most cards at the end.

2. Buzz

This game is used to practise multiples of a particular number. It can be played in a small group or with the entire class. The leader chooses a number between 2 and 9. The leader says 1, the next player says the 2, and so on. When a multiple of the number chosen is reached, the player says ’buzz’ instead of the number. If a player forgets to say ‘buzz’, or says it at the wrong time, he or she is out. Play continues until the group reaches the last multiple of the number times 9.

3. Around the world

Large group flash cards are great for ’Around the world’. Players sit in a circle. One pupil starts by standing behind the next pupil in the circle. The teacher holds up a flash card. The first pupil to say the answer stands behind the next person in the circle. If a sitting pupil says the answer first, the standing pupil sits down in the winner’s chair. This process continues until at least one student makes it completely around the circle. The cards have multiplication sums on them. You can make these and use them over and over. You can use different tables e.g. 3, 6 and 8.

4. Dots

You will need a dice to play this game.

  • Ask a pupil to join you at the board to model the game.
  • Do each step yourself and then ask your partner to do the step.
  • Roll the dice and announce the number you rolled.
  • Draw that number of big circles on the board, e.g. if you rolled a 2, you draw two large circles on the board.
  • Roll the dice again and announce that number.
  • Draw that number of dots in each of your circles, e.g. if you rolled a 6, you draw six dots in each circle.
  • Write a multiplication equation to match your drawing, e.g. 2 x 6 = 12 (2 groups of 6 equals 12).
  • Record the total number of dots in your drawing. 12 is your score for this round.
  • Continue with your partner for four more rounds of play.
  • After five rounds, total all the dots.
  • The player with the most dots wins.

5. Number names

On a name tag write a multiplication problem, e.g. 7 x 5. Each pupil gets to wear one for the day. They no longer have a name. When you or your pupils want to speak to someone, you must call that person by their ‘number name’ – the answer to the multiplication problem they are wearing, e.g. 35.

Resource 4: Times table (Example 9 times table)