Thursday, December 11, 2014

Problem Solving Palooza- Challenge #6

Magic Square

Grade Level: This activity is suitable for students in grades 2 - 8  

Objective: Get the value of each row, column, and diagonal to equal 15

Task: Place one of the digits (1-9) in each square until each row, column, and diagonal equals the number 15. Each number is only used once. 

Ways to Utilize the Activity: This is a great starter activity. Display this on your projector or give each student a copy and let them go to work. Then, as a class, discuss ways to approach the task. Ask questions such as: 
  • Where do you start?
  • What problem solving strategy can you use to solve this problem?
  • Are there certain numbers that must be located in a specific box? If so, which ones? Why?
  • Is there more than one solution? If so, what is it?
This magic square can be included on a math menu or used on a menu of problem solving station options. 

Solutions: See the solution below: 

Variation: Allow students to work with foam numbers or numbers written on sticky notes or index cards so that they can easily manipulate the number placements.  

Learn More: Have students research how Benjamin Franklin created the magic square.  

Note: You can download this freebie here.