## Wednesday, May 12, 2010

### Tribulation Game

This game challenges students to find equivalent names for numbers.   In Tribuation, students must search the gameboard for 3 numbers in a row (vertically, horizontally or diagonally as in a word search) that combine to make the target number.   In this game, however, there is a prescribed formula for combining the numbers.   Students must multiply the first two numbers then add or subtract the third number to produce the target number

Students quickly learn that any string of three numbers produce four different results since the string of numbers can be considered both forwards and backwards as in word searches.   Consider that the numbers 3, 5 and 8 are in a horizontal row.   These three numbers produce the following results when combined in the formula:
• 3 x 5 + 8 = 23
• 3 x 5 - 8 = 7
• 8 x 5 + 3 = 43
• 8 x 5 - 3 = 37
Note that the student may not begin with the middle number.   Once again, students will perform many mental calculations in a search for a viable solution on the gameboard.

This game was originally a board game in the 1980s but has been developed into a classroom game using a gameboard template designed to be inserted in a sheet protector and used with dry-erase pens so that students can easily circle and record solutions.   Two different approaches are effective in using this game:   (1) students search for one solution for 6-8 different target numbers, and (2) students search for many different solutions for one number.   Samples of both types of activities are included in the Tribulation directions packet for teachers.

Read more about the Tribulation Game on Mathwire.com to download instructions and templates that can be inserted in sheet protectors for daily use.