This game is such a fun way to practice the multiplication table for students in elementary school! It’s essentially battleship, with a math-twist. I’ve included a printable and instructions below.
Taking a break to play a math game is my favourite way to get my students engaged and motivated after some hard work. Plus, every three games won equals a prize from my awesome box of goodies, so it always gets them excited too!
I often check up on a blog called Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational run by a mother of two who shares tons of the games and resources she makes for her children. This battleship game was inspired by her post about a battleship game for practicing multiplication or addition. I decided to create my own printables though so that I could fold it like a game board, insert them in sheet protectors, and re-use the game boards.
Note: the game takes a while to play. The first time I played I’d printed out a grid that was 12×12, and it lost its excitement after several misses in a row, so we just tallied up how many hits we had and moved on to our next math activity. For this post, I modified the printable to have 10×10 grids, so it should be a bit quicker.
- Two copies of my printable (download above)
- Two clear plastic sheet protectors
- Two whiteboard markers
- Two thicker pieces of cardstock
Putting together the game board:
- Fold the cardstock pieces in half to create a crease, then open and insert one into each clear plastic sheet protector
- Fold the game sheets in half also, then open and insert in front of the cardstock
- Use the whiteboard markers to play (and your finger or a whiteboard marker to erase and re-use the game boards!)
How to Play
The goal of the game is to sink all of the other players’ ships first. You don’t get to see their ships, though, so it’s a combination of luck and strategy (in picking where to shoot and also in arranging your own ships so it’s harder to sink).
Each player begins by drawing their five ships on the top grid. You can place them vertically or horizontally, and anywhere you like in your “territory”.
Then, the players take turns calling out their missile launches. You’ll keep track of the hits and misses you make in your opponents’ territory on the bottom grid. In order to make this a multiplication game, too, you’ll be calling out the coordinates of your missile and then reciting the product of those numbers.
For example, you can call out “5 by 10, which is 50”. This means you aimed your missile at the square that is five squares across and 10 squares down.
If your ship is hit when your opponent calls out a coordinate, you reply “hit”. If not, you say, “miss”. If your entire ship gets sunk, you say “you sunk my submarine/battleship/aircraft carrier/destroyer/small ship”.
And that’s pretty much it! I had a lot of fun playing this game with my students because it brought me back to my childhood and got them to practice their multiplication tables in the process, too! Let me know what you thought about it in the comments below!