Multiplying positive and negative integers is an important skill. Try playing this two-player card game to practice this concept with your middle school student. You can work together at first, or jump right in to playing competitively. Your student will love the challenge of trying to find the correct products first in this fun math activity!
Terms to Know:
integer: a positive or negative whole number, or zero
product: the answer to a multiplication problem
What You Need:
- Deck of playing cards
What You Do:
- Distribute the cards equally to both players. Players must keep their cards face down in a pack. Each red card represents a negative integer, and each black card represents a positive integer. Face cards have the following values: ace = 1, jack = 11, queen = 12, king = 13.
- In each round, players simultaneously turn over a card and place it face up on the table. The first player to correctly find the product and say it aloud wins the two cards. If a tie results, each player keeps their cards.
- Play until one player wins all of the cards or you run out of time. The player with the most cards wins.
Reminder: How to Multiply Negative & Positive Numbers
Refer to these rules whenever you need to refresh your memory!
- Positive x Positive = Positive (e.g. 4 x 4 = 16)
- Negative x Negative = Positive (e.g. -4 x -4 = 16)
- Positive x Negative = Negative (e.g. 4 x -4 = -16)
- Negative x Positive = Negative (e.g. -4 x 4 = -16)
Play with three players, and require players to multiply three numbers together in each round. (You may want scratch paper for this one!)