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Popcorn Balloon Game (Grades 3-8)


Subject: Math


Objective: 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, popcorn popper.


Student Grouping: Divide the class into small groups (6) and have each group sit close together for sharing.


The Play:


  1. Each group will have:a. one paper plate with a handful of unpopped popcorn kernels.b. one paper plate with a star drawn in the middle.c. a copy of the "balloon sheet" and pencil for each student.

  2. Each student is directed to fill the 9 balloons on their "balloon sheet" with numbers 1-12, one number per balloon.

  3. The teacher calls out a number. (Example: 15) and each student thinks of the factor of the number (Example: 3x5=15).

  4. If the student has the balloons #3 and #5, he puts a popcorn kernel in each balloon.

  5. The teacher calls time after designated time (20 seconds, 30 seconds, etc.) and asks the students the factors of the number.

  6. 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.

  7. "Balloon sheets" are cleared of kernels and the teacher calls another number.

  8. 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.

  9. 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."


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