Popcorn Balloon Game (Grades 3-8)
Multiplication review for a popcorn party.
Materials and Preparation:
Pencils, balloon, popcorn kernels, paper plates, sheet
of paper with 9 balloons drawn on it for each student,
Divide the class into small groups (6) and have each
group sit close together for sharing.
Each group will have:
a. one paper plate with a handful of unpopped popcorn
b. one paper plate with a star drawn in the middle.
c. a copy of the "balloon sheet" and pencil
for each student.
Each student is directed to fill the 9 balloons on
their "balloon sheet" with numbers 1-12,
one number per balloon.
The teacher calls out a number. (Example: 15) and
each student thinks of the factor of the number (Example:
If the student has the balloons #3 and #5, he puts
a popcorn kernel in each balloon.
The teacher calls time after designated time (20
seconds, 30 seconds, etc.) and asks the students
the factors of the number.
Every student who put a kernel on the factors of
the number may take those kernels, and only those
kernels, and place them on the star paper plate. The
star paper plate now contains the beginning of the
popcorn to be popped for the party.
"Balloon sheets" are cleared of kernels
and the teacher calls another number.
The popcorn balloon game is over when PAT is up or
when you have enough popcorn for a party. If there
is not enough popcorn for a party after 1 PAT session,
collect the kernels they have earned towards the party
in a jar and add to it the next PAT session until
you have enough.
Watch out for numbers like:
24 = 8x3x1, 6x4x1, 3x2x4x1, 3x2x2x2x1,
12x2x1, 6x2x2x1 = 22 possible kernels
36 = 6x6x1, 3x2x6x1, 9x4x1, 12x3x1,
3x4x3x1, 3x2x2x3x1 = 22 possible kernels
Comments or Variations:
Try replacing the option to write the number 1 in a balloon
with the option to write the word "prime."