Using the Battleship Board Game to Teach Math

Battleship helps students understand difficult concepts.

Although many people are familiar with the Battleship game, math is not one of the things they usually associate with it. Battleship can be a fun enrichment exercise to your math program.

Mathematics Thinking Skills

Playing games in the classroom is especially helpful for kinesthetic and visual learners. The Battleship game requires students of all ages to practice thinking and problem solving skills that are critical to understanding mathematics. For the youngest players, it is a game of memory, logic and strategy while the more experienced players will realize that they need to use probability skills.

While playing the game, children become familiar with the following:

  • Grids
  • Columns
  • Rows
  • Points
  • Graphs
  • Ordered pairs

By having a classroom game day once a week, many teachers find that their students become more enthusiastic about math. Because so many children have an anxiety about learning, math games can help them to enjoy the process.

Teach Algebra with Battleship Game Math

One of the primary concepts that are taught when playing the Battleship game is plotting and naming points on coordinate grids. Playing Battleship will give students the ability to use the following techniques in a non-stressful way.

  • X-axis
  • Y-axis
  • A point contains an x- and y- coordinate
  • Origin
  • Quadrants
  • How to locate a point
  • How to name a point

You can find complete instructions for using Battleship in the traditional or homeschool classroom at Hot Chalk's Lesson Plans. There is also a print friendly version there for your convenience.

An online game which gets your student busy using strategy, logic, and coordinates is Advanced Battleship. The student sets up ships and then plays against the computer in much the same way that he would play against another student. The same site also has Classic Battleship.

For practice with one step equations, the Quia site has a Battle the One Step Equations game. The student sinks his opponent's battleships by correctly solving one step equations that utilize positive and negative integers. This is also a game that is played online.

Other Types of Math Practice Using Battleship

There are other types of mathematics concepts that students can practice while playing Battleship games. Math requires the types of problem solving skills that students naturally use when playing the game.

Find lesson plans that use Battleship at:

  • At Danielle's Place the Battleship game is used to review number problems. There are several games on this page so scroll down.
  • Learn NC has a printable lesson plan with assessments, supplements, and other helpful information to allow you to plan a complete unit around the game.
  • Valentine's Day Battleship is a thematic unit that covers math and social studies and is themed for Valentines Day.

Other Games the Teach Math Concepts

Battleship is not the only game that teaches math concepts. At the most basic level any game which requires counting, matching, or grouping helps children to learn and understand math concepts. Games of strategy and logic encourage problem solving skills as well as build confidence in students.

  • Chess
  • Monopoly
  • Chutes and Ladders
  • Dominos

Mastering Math

Playing Battleship is a great way to spend a rainy afternoon, but it also reinforces mathematics skills. Math is largely abstract, but playing games like Battleship helps to bring it into a more concrete focus for students of all ages.Whether you are using the classic board game, a pencil and graph paper, or an online version, Battleship will help students master difficult math concepts with ease.

Using the Battleship Board Game to Teach Math