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Giant Grid

Gist: Students work backwards to match answers to the problems on a giant grid.


Why Do It? Students rarely care much about the work they do on a worksheet.  Playing Giant Grid gets them up and moving, narrows down how many problems they have to do, increases engagement and motivation, and generally breaks the doldrum of a regular school day.  Giant grid significantly inceases the rigor and grit level of traditional worksheets.



-Plastic Sheeting (4 MIL)

-Colored Masking Tape

-Overhead Markers

-Individual Dry Erase Boards (optional)









Directions to make:

1.  Spread out the plastic sheeting.

2.  Measure out and tape down a grid, 5x6, for a total of 30 spaces.  If using sheeting sized as pictured, measure spaces 18 inches by 18 inches


Set Up:

1.  Move desks to leave enough floor space to lay out the grid.  Lay grid flat on the floor with enough room around the edges for students to fully access all boxes.

2.  Using overhead marker (recommended) or dry erase marker, write one question from your worksheet in each box of the grid.  Write large enough to make the problems easy to see.  Number them according to the worksheet to make it easy to check answers.

3.  Write the answers on sheets of paper, one per paper OR on individual dry erase boards (recommended).  Write large enough to make the answers easy to see, and leave space to work problems if applicable.

4.  Have the answer key ready for your use.  Optionally, have a roster ready to keep track of how many answers each student gets correct.

















To Play:

1.  Give each student one answer.  Students will work out various problems until they believe they have found the match. 2.  When they believe they have a match, they stand on the problem that matches their answer.  Require some evidence to support their answer, such as the page number they found it on or the work steps to prevent randomly guessing spaces.  

3.  If the student is correct, have them initial their paper/board and lay it on their space.  If they are incorrect, they keep trying.

4.  Once their answer is correct, give them another answer and repeat the process.  

5.  Play continues until all spaces are claimed.  The student with the most spaces is the winner.  One student described this as buying real estate in Monopoly.


Caution and Tips:

-Some students have very low frustration tolerance.  Try to have them wrestle with the problems as long as possible.  When you believe they are at the brink of despair, you may give broad hints such as the row or column the matching problem is on.

-As more students find correct matches, the options narrow, making it easier for struggling students to find matches.

-Require showing steps or evidence to prevent random guessing.

-Be prepared with a couple printed copies of the worksheet in case any students choose not to comply with your expectations.




-Instead of playing until the entire board is filled, you can set a goal, such as 3 matches per student.  Some students will finish quickly, indicating to you they are successful with the skill.  Have an extension activity ready for them to move on to.  The spaces will be gone before all students get 3 matches, but you will know the remaining students need more practice with the skill.

-You can use your roster to keep track of correct answers instead of having students "claim real estate."  Then they can turn their answer page/board back in, allowing the game to run indefinitely.  

-Giant Grid can be used in a more traditional order--answers on the grid, questions on the papers--but this will lower the rigor and grit.

-You can give all students one problem and have them work silently without getting up to claim their space.  Then, at your signal, they all get up to stand on the answer they believe matches.  If more than one student claims a space, they must give their arguement why their problem matches that answer, and the other students vote which one they believe is correct.  Then use the key to check their answers.  Correct students sit on their space; incorrect students try again until everyone is seated.  Then switch problems and repeat.

-Giant Grid can be used to match vocabulary terms to definitions, capitals to countries, etc for uses beyond worksheets.

-Giant Grid as a quick check for understanding or exit ticket: write statements about the content or learning in each space and have students stand on the square that best represents them.

-Giant Grid as reading response: put discussion starters relevant to any text (example: How did the character change? What impact did the setting have on the plot?) in each square.  After reading, students stand in a square they feel they can contribute to.  Then discuss.

-GIANT GRID AS CONNECT 4: Set up using preferred version.  Arrange class in teams and give each team its own color of marker.  When the team believes they've found a match, they lay down their question/answer AND the colored marker to claim the space.  When they have four in a row, check for correct answers, returning incorrect matches to play.  The first team with four correct matches in a row wins.

Giant Grid as Workshop Exit Ticket
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