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Prime Factor Relay (Middle School)


Author: Toby Abrahamsen, Seneca Ridge Middle School, Virginia


Subject: Math


Objective: Prime Factorization


Materials and Preparation: Chalkboard and chalk for each team.


Student Grouping: 3 or 4 groups of 4 students


The Play:


  1. Have students line up behind a player number 1 (P#1).

  2. The teacher will announce a number, and P#1 will go to the board, write the number, and draw 2 lines for the next person.

  3. P#1 will then return to his/her team, give the chalk to the next person in line, P#2.

  4. P#2 will go to the board and write down 2 factors of the original number and pass the chalk to P#3.

  5. P#3 lists the factors of the numbers P#2 has written - this continues until the prime factorization has been found.

  6. When a player writes a prime number, they must circle it.

  7. Once all prime numbers have been circled, the prime factorization must be written on the board.


Scoring: The first team to write the prime factorization of the original number wins a point.


Further Play:


  • If a student doesn't know what the next step is, they can pass to the next player in line.

  • If students yell out the answer to a teammate, a time penalty can be given for the next round


Diagram / Example:




Comments or Variations: You can also use this for LCM, GCF, or simplifying fractions (works great with prealgebra and variables).

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