Co-ordinates Battleship: Revisited

I have blogged before about using “Co-ordinates Battleship” to give my students some practice plotting points and shapes on a co-ordinate plane. I’m using the game again this year and now that I’ve figured out a set of rules that seems to work well, I thought I would write it up here.

  • Each student gets a sheet of 1 cm grid paper
    • I get the grid paper (and lots of other blackline masters here)
  • Each student sets up a 15 x 15 grid and labels the x and y axes
    • I have students use Quadrant 1 only, but students with experience with positive and integers could use all four quadrants
  • Each student has to plot 5 “ships” on the grid:
    • one 1×1 rectangle
    • one 1×3 rectangle
    • one 1×5 rectangle
    • one 2×3 rectangle
    • one 2×4 rectangle
  • Students play in pairs, sitting opposite each other with a binder or textbook propped up between them to conceal their grid
  • Each player takes turns sending “torpedoes” by naming a specific point using the point’s co-ordinates.
    • If that point is a vertex or falls on an edge or in the middle of one of the “ships”, it counts as a “hit”; if the point falls outside of any of the “ships” then it is a “miss”
  • In order to sink each ship, it has to be hit a specific number of times:
    • the 1×1 rectangle has to be hit on 1 point
    • the 1×3 rectangle has to be hit on 2 different points
    • the 1×5 rectangle has to be hit on 3 different points
    • the 2×3 rectangle has to be hit on 3 different points
    • the 2×4 rectangle has to be hit on 4 different points
  • The game continues until one player has sunk all five of their opponent’s ships

Some of the variations and extensions that I have tried or imagined include:

  • allowing students to do a transformation (rotation, reflection or translation) at one point in the game, provided that they tell their opponent what transformation they have done
  • using a larger grid and/or more shapes
  • having students continue their game outside of class using phone, text or e-mail

If you have other ideas, please post them in the comments…


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