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Gamer Number Munch

Anyone dragging themselves out of bed this morning to start back at school after the long holiday?  Anyone buried in snow and looking for something educational to do?  Want a way to encourage kids to learn math with their favorite video game characters?  My kids haven't even played Pacman, and they already love the silly, simple munching guy.

The mouth of Pacman is perfect for teaching greater than and less than math concepts, since you can point his mouth the direction of the larger number.   Later, when kids move onto the traditional < and > symbols, they should be able to imagine the Pacman face and remember which direction they want to use.

This Pacman printable can be used alongside your normal math curriculum or as a separate activity.  It would even be a great way to introduce the concept of greater and lesser values for kids who have never encountered it before.  Grab your free printable by clicking the link below!

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Print out the PDF and cut out the ghost number cards.  Laminate the cards and the work mat for durability or use without lamination if you're only planning on using the printable once.  Printing on cardstock will prolong the life of the printable even longer and give them same some authenticity and strength.

If using the printable as an independent activity apart from a set math curriculum, I would recommend gathering a 20-sided dice and a bag of dried lima beans or navy beans for counters.  To create ghosts for Pacman to eat, use a permanent marker to draw ghost faces on the beans.  Cut out the Pacman characters from the printable and glue two of them back to back to make a two-sided figure.

Have the child roll the 20-sided dice one time and use the pink ghost number counters to show the first number as a digit.  Using the ghost beans (or any type of counter), have the child build the number in the pink 20-frame box.  Then, roll the dice again and place the second number cards in the blue box and build the number with the counters.  Finally, ask the child to place the Pacman character between the pink and blue ghost to show which number is larger.  Remind the child that Pacman always wants to eat the bigger amount of ghosts.

The child can record their numbers and decisions on a separate piece of paper for an added layer of accountability and learning.  Alternatively, the activity can be played as a game with the winner of each round receiving a ghost counter as a reward.  After a certain number of rounds, an all time winner can be decided by seeing who has the greatest number of counters.  Of course, the real winner is the kids who have learned how to determine greater and lesser numbers and quantities.

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