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Factor Puzzles


This is a level 4 number activity from the Figure It Out series. It relates to Stage 7 of the Number Framework.

Achievement Objectives:

Achievement Objective: NA4-1: Use a range of multiplicative strategies when operating on whole numbers.
AO elaboration and other teaching resources

Specific Learning Outcomes: 

use multiplication facts to solve puzzles

Required Resource Materials: 
FIO, Level 3, Basic Facts, Factor Puzzles, page 11
2 dice marked 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9
counters (a different colour for each player)

In this activity, students find the factors for given products and identify the common factors in order to solve the puzzle.
Students will need to be very familiar with basic multiplication facts to do this activity. They could identify factors for each product and then use trial and improvement as a strategy to solve the problem. Questions 1b and 1c include numbers with more than one common factor, so students will have to use problem-solving strategies to identify the required common factor.
Examples of polygons that students could use for question 2 are squares, pentagons, and hexagons.

(b and c have one missing product.)
Students could vary their puzzles so that there are several missing factors and products, for example:



This is a relatively quick game that gives students practice in finding products. Some of the products are repeated so that students can use strategies to increase their chances of winning. Playing this game several times gives students the chance to explore different strategies.

Answers to Activity



2. Answers will vary.
A game of multiplication