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This plan uses the game Battleship to teach Plotting and Naming Points on a Grid




6, 7, 8  

Title – Battleship and the Coordinate System
By – Helen Quinn
Subject – Math
Grade Level – Middle school
This activity provides practice plotting and naming points on a coordinate grid.
1. Introduce students to the coordinate system: x-axis, y-axis, a point contains an x- and y- coordinate, origin, quadrants, how to locate a point, how to name a point.
2. Hand out three Battleship game boards to each student. Teacher instructions for setting up the game board: Turn a piece of graph paper sideways and draw a line down the middle. Label the left side “My Battlefield” and the right side “Opponent’s Battlefield”. On each side, draw a coordinate system going from -5 to +5 on each axis. Under each coordinate system, mark off an area and title it “Points called”.
3. Using a transparency of the game board, explain to the class how the game is played. Each student places their battleships on the coordinate grid marked “My Battleship” using a series of dots. There are five ships: one carrier (made of 5 points), two destroyers (made of 4 points each), and two submarines (made of 3 points each). Unlike the board game, the ships can be placed diagonally. Someone starts by calling a point and lists that point in the “Points called” section on the left side of the paper. The opponent writes the point in the “Points called” section on the right side of their paper and declares whether it was a hit or miss (and if the ship is sunk). The person who called the point marks the hit with an “X” or a miss with an “O” on the “Opponent’s Battlefield”. Students work in pairs until one person sinks all of the other person’s ships or time runs out. If time runs out, the person with the most hits wins.
4. Pair students and give them time in class to play a game.
5. For homework that night, have them play a game with someone at home. This is the reason that each student gets three game boards – one to use in class, and two for homework.

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