Are your students playing prime numbers games? No matter how well you teach prime and composite numbers, students will forget about them if you don’t continue to review the concept. You know the saying, “Use it or lose it.” The last thing we want is students to forget what we teach them.
If kids don’t use prime numbers, they won’t be able to remember them when they need them. That’s why I work to keep prime and composite numbers top of mind with my students. We do a variety of activities and play different types of games to accomplish this goal.
About this prime numbers game
My students’ favorite game out of all the activities we do is a mashup of tic-tac-toe and bingo. I call it “tic-tac-bingo” but my kids refer to it as “tingo”. Tic-tac-bingo is a no-prep game that doesn’t require anything other than pencil and paper. My students loved it, so we played it repeatedly after they had a solid understanding of prime and composite numbers.
To play this prime numbers game, have students create a tic-tac-toe board and then fill each space with a prime number. In the beginning, we used only prime numbers up to 50. Later in the year, we played with primes up to 100.
As I called out random prime numbers, students circled the numbers in their grid if they had them listed. The first person to get three in a row was the winner.
Benefits of this prime numbers game
Even though this is a basic game, students benefit from playing it over and over again. Prime number tic-tac-bingo keeps kids thinking about primes. Not only do they need to be able to come up with prime numbers for their game boards, but they are also repeatedly hearing prime numbers being called out during the game.
- Have kids create their tic-tac-toe game boards.
- Game boards need to be filled with random prime numbers.
- The teacher calls out prime numbers until a player gets three in a row.
- Verify the winner by checking the game board with the list of called prime numbers.
Prime numbers game for the win
As you can see, this is a simple but effective game. Because this game doesn’t require any prep work on my part, it is excellent when I need an unexpected time filler. The best part is my students love playing it, and I’m all for anything that gets my kids excited about math.