Source: Brain-Boosting Math Activities: Grade 4 in the Teacher Store Page 1 of 2

  Space Chase Place Value
Students use strategies to capture creepy space creatures while learning about place value.

1. Review place value to the hundred thousands place with students. Tell them they will need this knowledge if they want to do well in the Space Chase game.

2. Distribute the Space Chase reproducible page to each pair. Demonstrate how to use the spinner by spinning a paper clip around a pencil placed at the spinner's center. Players should spin to see who goes first, with the higher spin going first. Players then take turns spinning.

3. On each turn, a player spins and lands on a number. The player then says which creepy space creature he or she will capture on that turn. Players write the number they landed on in the blank that corresponds with the place value of the space creature. (For example: In round 1, Player 1 spins a 5. She decides to capture a Kerpew on this turn. Kerpews represent the ten thousands place. So Player 1 writes a 5 in the ten thousands place of her Round 1 score blanks.) Players record their numbers in the score blanks of the round they are playing.

4. A particular space creature can be captured only once per round. The round ends when both players have captured all six space creatures. Play continues for three rounds. The winner of each round is the player who has written the greater 6-digit number.

Observe which students are developing a strategy to succeed at this game. If a student lands on a high number, he or she should probably place it in the hundred thousands place. A player placing a one in the hundred thousands place may not be clear on the game's concept.



For each pair:


Ask students to describe the strategy they used to play the game and how they think they could improve their score if they played again.

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