Mathline

Factor Game
Number Theory

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Objective

Students will use a game setting to identify the properties of prime, composite, abundant, deficient and perfect numbers.

Overview of the Lesson

Using a Factor Game Board, comprised of the numbers from 1 to 30 placed in a 5 by 6 grid, the teacher challenges students to a game. The rules are explained as the game progresses. Basically, Player A circles any number and, using a different color, Player B circles all the factors of that number. Once a number is circled, it cannot be used again. The game continues with Player B picking a number and so on. If a player picks a number that has no available factor, the player loses a turn. The winner is determined by adding the numbers circled by each player. The player with the highest total wins. After playing a game between the teacher and the class, students are given game boards and play against each other. The game is analyzed by filling in a table of first moves. On the basis of the data, students rate each number as a “good” or “not good” first move. Students learn that they can score more points by picking certain numbers. Perfect, deficient, and abundant numbers are described and defined. Students then play the game using the strategies they discovered.