Pentomino Battleship

Lesson by Julie McQuaker, Jane Tom and Margaret Romain with Chris Johnson, Kurtis Hansen, Marge Red Cloud (educators from Pegamigaabo School and Mikinaak Onigaming School), Joan Moss, Bev Caswell, Jisoo Seo, and Kim Kirk 
Download the PDF

Curriculum – Geometry and Spatial Sense

For students to identify and describe the location of an object, on a plane using letter-number coordinates


  • This game can be played as a teacher-led game or barrier game.
  • If students are unfamiliar with coordinates, play the warm up game first.


  • 1 Pentomino set per Player 1
  • Multiple square tiles in 2 different colours per player
  • Download: 1 Game board per player

Figure 4

Part 1: Pentominoes on Grid

  • Pairs of students sit facing each other, with a barrier in between.
  • Player 1 secretly places 2 pentomino pieces on his/her/their game board (figure 1). 
  • Player 1 calls out the letter-number coordinates on which the pentomino is placed one at a time. Use 2 different colours of tiles, one for each pentomino shape (e.g., Place a yellow tile on A4). Player 2 follows the instruction and places the square tiles in the correct spot on his/her own game board.
  • Repeat this process for each spot (e.g., Red tile on D3, yellow tile on A2, red tile on E3, etc).
  • Play continues until the two pentomino shapes are created on Player 2’s game board (figure 2). 

Part 2: Pentomino Battleships

  • Player 1 secretly places two pentomino pieces (“battleships” on his/her/their game board (figure 3).
  • Player 2 calls out a letter-number coordinate. Player 1 says whether it’s a hit or a miss. If it is a hit, Player 2 places a square tile of one colour (e.g., blue tile) on the target grid. If it’s a miss, Player 2 places a square tile of another colour (e.g., yellow) on the target grid.
  • Players continue until the two pentomino battleships have been “sunk” (figure 4).
Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3