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Math Awareness Month, Grades K-5

2014 Theme: Mathematics, Magic, and Mystery

Found In: mathematics, preK-2, 3-5

Curriculum resources, including lesson plans, background reading, printables and video, for grades preK-5 address the 2014 Math Awareness Month theme: Mathematics, Magic, and Mystery.

It celebrates Martin Gardner and features 30 days of videos and articles on mathematical magic tricks, mysteries, puzzles, illusions, and more.

Lesson Plans & Activities

Lesson Plans

Puzzling Relationships
Students in grades K-2 use concrete materials to develop the skills needed to work with interactive Tangram puzzles.

Tangram Puzzles
Students in grades K-2 choose a picture and use all seven Tangram pieces to fill in the outline.

Primary Krypto
Students in grades K-8 combine five number cards using the four arithmetic operations to arrive at a target number.

Bag The Beans
Pairs of students in grades 3-5 use beans to create and solve problems, some of which have more than one correct answer.

Petals Around The Rose
Students in grades 3-5 roll five dice and try to discover a non-standard pattern.

Sticks And Stones
Students in grades 3-8 collect data, investigate the likelihood of various moves, and use basic ideas of expected value to determine the average number of turns needed to win a game.


The Daily Set Puzzle
Find the six sets. An online version of the card game.

Ghost In The Mansion
Can the ghost float through all of the doors of the ground floor without reusing a door twice?

Mystery Number
Find the number x that satisfies two properties.

Gerbino's Illusion
Includes an explanation.

Sample Problems For The Math Awareness Month Competition

An online version of the board game played by two players, the codemaker and the codebreaker.

Activity Sets

U.S. Mint: Games
K-8 money games and activities.

Games, Puzzles And Activities
Grades K-8 and geometry.

Recreational National Library Of Virtual Manipulatives: Games
13 games for K-12.

Puzzle Archive
An archive of puzzles for grades 3-5.

Math Puzzles
These puzzles require only logical reasoning, no mathematical knowledge.

78 puzzles with solutions.

Mathematics, Anyone?
A blog with recreational math activities.

Mathematical Games Puzzles And Problems
Games with dice, cards, numbers, and more.

Erich’s Math Puzzles
More challenging problems. Explore Mathematician Erich Friedman’s website for even more puzzles.

Background Resources


  • Theme Poster ( PDF, 8 MB, 1 pg.)
    PDF of full-size theme poster.



Recreational Mathematics ( PDF, 1.1 MB, 33 pgs.)
A chapter from Famous Puzzles of Great Mathematicians by Miodrag S. Petković that includes puzzles and answers.

Mathematical Puzzles: A Connoisseur’s Collection ( PDF, 2.4 MB, 146 pgs.)
Complete book by Peter Winkler.

Discovering The Art Of Mathematics: Games And Puzzles ( PDF, 6.4 MB, 130 pgs.)
Complete book by Ecke, von Renesse, Fleron, and Hotchkiss.

Recreational Mathematics
Book reviews.

last updated: April 2, 2014



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