Pentomino Battleship

Curriculum Goal

Primary and Junior: Geometry and Spatial Sense

• Plot and read coordinates in the first quadrant of a Cartesian plane.

Context

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

Materials

• 1 Pentomino set per Player 1
• Multiple square tiles in 2 different colours per Player 2
• 1 Game board per player (Appendix A)

Lesson

Part 1: Pentominoes on Grid

• Pairs of students sit facing each other, with a barrier in between.
• Player 1 secretly places two pentomino pieces on their game board (Fig. 1).
• Player 1 calls out, one at a time, the letter-number coordinates for where the pentominoes are placed. They will also refer to a different tile colour for each pentomino shape (e.g., place a yellow tile on A4).
• Player 2 follows the instructions to place the square tile in the correct spot.
• Repeat this process (e.g., red on D3, yellow on A2, red on E3, etc.) until the two pentomino shapes are created on Player 2’s game board (Fig. 2).

Part 2: Pentomino Battleship

• Player 1 secretly places two pentomino pieces (“battleships”) on their game board (Fig. 3).
• Player 2 calls out a letter-number coordinate.
• Player 1 reveals whether it’s a hit or a miss and Player 2 will place a tile on the target grid accordingly (e.g., blue for hit, yellow for miss).
• Players continue until the two pentomino battleships have been “sunk” (Fig. 4).

Look Fors

• Can children accurately describe the location of their pentominoes?
• When playing battleship, what strategies do children use to plan their next move? For example, do they predict what pentomino they may need to sink and select coordinates appropriately?
• What spatial language do children use?

Related Lessons

Students must identify and mark coordinates on a grid to reveal a design created by the plotted points on the grid.