Ideas for Fun Activities on Prime and Composite Numbers

PrimeNumbersHundredsChart 1

Thinking of prime and composite number activities after teaching your lesson may narrow down your ideas to usual worksheet drills. Specifically, worksheet drills one after another. Break your class away from this laborious task, and introduce fun into your math lessons so you'd never have to exert effort in motivating your students ever again.

Raise It Up: Guidelines

Materials: cardboards with PRIME or COMPOSITE written on each.

1. The students are paired up (if the class population is even)/divided into groups of three (if the class population is odd).

2. Each pair/triad has a PRIME board and a COMPOSITE board.

3. This quiz bee involves the teacher flashing in front of the class (via PowerPoint) one number at a time. As soon as the number is flashed, all pairs will race in holding up the correct board to identify the number on the screen in front of them.

4. This is a game of speed AND accuracy–hence, the first pair/triad to raise the correct board is given the point.

Let’s Go Fishing: Guidelines

Materials: three baskets; three sets of fish (each set contains fish numbered from 1-100)

1. Divide the class into three groups.

2. The teacher gives each group a basketful of cardboard fish. Each fish has a number written on it.

3. The groups are to race against each other in classifying the fish into two groups: those with prime numbers on them and those with composite numbers on them.

4. Once they are done classifying, the group members are to shout "We are done fishing!" in unison.

5. The first team to finish is declared the winner.

Numbers Circle

Materials: none

1. The whole class forms a circle, with the teacher staying in the middle.

2. The teacher points at a student and shouts either "Prime!" or "Composite!" and the student being pointed at is to respond by shouting back a number that falls under the category said by the teacher. The student is to give a number within three seconds.

3. The teacher goes on to point the next student beside the one in #2 and again shouts a category to which the student should respond with a number.

4. This cycle goes on until the circle is completed. However, once a student is not able to give a number within three seconds, s/he is going to be asked to sit, until only one remains. The trick here is to make the pointing faster and to make the teacher's required category unpredictable. For instance, don't shout prime and composite alternately all throughout the game. Vary the patterns every now and then–it can be all prime, all composite, three primes and one composite, etc.

5. The last student standing shall be declared the winner for the round.

Introduce prime and composite number interactive activities whenever you teach this lesson. It is essential that in order for a student to be motivated to study (especially in Math), s/he should take on the view that learning is fun and rewarding. Being in a setting where the students are able to enjoy the lessons they are learning and at the same be affirmed and recognized for their feats, is a guaranteed way for your math lessons to shift from dreaded to delightful.

Photo Credit: