Jeopardy – Math

A trivia-based inspired by the game show, with increasing levels of difficulty

Age group: Grades 2-8

Number of students recommended: 20

Subjects/skills learned: Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division

Object of the game: The team with the most cumulative points at the end of the games wins.

Setup: On each tire in the first row of tires, write a mathematical function symbol (for example, + , -, x, etc). These tires mark the “category” for the column of tires behind it. In each of the columns of tires behind the function symbol, write the values 5, 10, 20, and 50 (these are the point values for the questions you will ask, with the harder questions worth more points). Divide the class into two teams, and have each team line up facing the row of functions.

Game Play: Flip a coin to decide which team will start. The first student from the first team will pick a column (i.e. multiplication) and a level of difficulty (i.e. 5, the easiest). They might say, “I’ll take multiplication for 5 points.” The teacher will ask a question corresponding the level of difficulty (for example, for a grade 3 student an easy 5-point-value question could be 2×2). If the student answers it correctly, he/she goes and sits on the correct tire and remains there for the duration of the game. If he/she answers incorrectly, they will go to the back of their team’s line and they can play again. At this point, the first student of the other team gets a chance to “steal” the points by answering the same question correctly. If he or she does not, no one is awarded the points and the teacher announces the correct answer. If the opposing team member does answer it correctly, they go sit on the correct tire and remain there for the duration of the game. The next turn goes to the opposing team, regardless of whether the points were stolen or not.

The teacher continues to call out questions, going back and forth between the teams to until all the questions for each category have been asked. Ideally, all students should have answered a question correctly and should all be seated on a tire by the end of the game.

Game Conclusion: Once the questions have all been asked, the teams add up their total points, tallying the point values of the tires on which the team members are seated. The team with the largest number of points win.

Examples: The function for the row is multiplication. The student chooses the hardest number, 50. The teacher asks 15 x 10, and the students answers 150. Since it is correct, the student goes and sits on the tire.

Tips and Variations:

  • Divide into 5 teams instead of 2, putting each group one row of tires. This variation is not a competition, but a five-team rotation in which students are challenged to answer questions individually.
  • For younger students, use smaller question point-values on the tires (1,2,3,4), making the total points at the end of the game easier to add.