• Print pages 4-8 in color or choose gray scale.
• Laminate the printed pages, then cut out the individual cards (six per page).
• Make blank cards out of white/colored paper (Make the size big enough for your students to write a math word problem on). The other option is to use just regular pieces of paper if you don't have the time.
There are 30 cards in this set. Hopefully, that should be enough for at least one card per student. If you have more than 30 students, you’ll need to either make an extra set of cards OR pair students for the activity (one card per pair).
Students pick one card at random and keep their card a secret. On the blank card (or piece of paper) they must create a math word problem that will equal to the answer on the card that they have. For example, “The answer is 9 pumpkins” – They know that the math question they make must equal 9 and be about pumpkins.
Once they finish writing their word problem, they must write their name on the back and either hand back to you, place in a box or get ready to swap with another student.
Give the student made word problems (at random from a box or swapped) to other students. Each student must solve the problem given, and then find the creator of it to see if they answered correctly. Another option is to complete the questions as a class and ‘check in’ with the maker of the word problem to see if it was answered correctly by everyone.
Show them a few examples first!
Modeling how to create a math word problem is recommended before instructing students to do this independently.
Some guided questions could be:
•What must my word problem equal to?
•What math operation will I use?
•Does this equation equal to the number I need?
•What items or characters will be featured in my word problem?
•What will happen to the items or characters in my word problem?
Being Halloween themed, encourage the math word problems to carry on the theme.
Even though the numbers are low, doesn’t mean this is limited to younger students. Challenge higher grades with using division, negative numbers, or create a multi-step word problem.
I hope you and your students enjoy this Halloween Math activity. I plan to make more for future seasonal themes.
You May Also be interested in these fun Educational resources for Halloween...
First, SET THE STAGE TO ENGAGE!
Each Math Mystery begins with an opening one-page story (as in the image below). The story sets up the mystery and has been designed to engage students. We are now also creating VIDEO HOOKS for the math mysteries, which are an optional extra that can be used to introduce your class to the activity and ‘hook’ them into the math work. (View an example Video Hook below too).
CHOOSE to use either the written story or video hook to introduce the activity to your students. You could choose to use both if you wish.
AN EXTENSIVE LIST OF POSSIBILITIES!
Each Math mystery for 2nd grade and up comes with a long list of possible solutions to the mystery component of the activity (see image A). The 1st-grade math mysteries come with fewer options and visual pictures instead (see image B). These are designed to make the guessing factor fun and large for the older grades. For the table list of suspects, you could assign a suspect to each student to make it extra exciting.
FIVE CLUE SHEETS WITH MATH QUESTIONS
Every math mystery in my range is consistent with having five clues to solve. Each clue sheet will require students to carry out math work. If the answers are correct, an important clue reveals in a message! If the clue doesn’t make sense, then students will know there are errors in their answers. The fact that these are practically self-checking also reduces teacher marking time...YAY!!!
To quickly and easily find out the math skill covered in each clue, check the product description of the math mystery grade version you would like.
The clue sheets (as long as it is the same clue number) are interchangeable between the 2nd to 8th-grade math mysteries (as long as the story title is the same); so you can swap pages around to tailor the mystery to suit your learners and differentiate within your classroom. For example, in the image below.
You can try this out with the free mystery at the end.
On top of all the math questions embedded into the mystery, critical thinking is an additional must to solve the mystery component of the activity. Upon discovery of a clue, students must read, comprehend and think about what the clue means for them to do with the LIST given. It doesn’t always tell you who or what to cross off; sometimes it is giving you a clue as to who to keep instead! Some clues can be quite tricky (but make for great discussions). The clues are sometimes straightforward and easy to interpret with what to do, others can be in a riddle form (like the one below), that will require an extra step in thinking about the elimination step.
"A LADY WAS ABLE TO SCARE OFF THE ANTIHERO WITH COOKIES'
If a lady was able to scare the antihero away with cookies, then the Super Bad Superhero MUST HAVE a weakness to cookies. Some students may accidentally cross off all suspects with a weakness to cookies. However, it SHOULD be to cross off all suspects that have a weakness to something else and KEEP only suspects with a weakness to cookies.
By the end of the five clues, if done correctly, only one row will remain. That row provides the answer to the mystery!
Once students declare the correct mystery answer, you have the optional award provided within the download that you can give to them.
If the student gets the correct mystery answer, only a glance over the completed clue sheets is all the marking you will need to do.
MULTIPLE USES FOR THE CLASSROOM OR AT HOME
There are multiple uses for math mysteries. These included, but are not limited to,
DOWNLOAD A FREE MULTIPLE GRADE LEVEL MATH MYSTERY TO TRY!
Download directly above or find it in my TPT store HERE to download for free. Video hook included!
The second poster outlines the steps to rounding numbers, with an example included.
You may also be interested in this fun ROUNDING Math Mystery: Case of The Robot Robbery. Each grade version will engage and motivate your students to get lots of practice with rounding, as they must solve who the guilty robot is.
3rd Grade Version - Rounding to the Nearest Ten and Hundred
4th Grade Version - Rounding Whole Numbers up to Millions
5th Grade Version - Rounding Decimals
Video Hook (Optional Use to introduce the Mystery Story)
CHECK OUT FEEDBACK FROM OTHER EDUCATORS
Click on the Grade cover image to find out more!
A 21st century School Teacher, Mother, and Wife.