Prime Numbers

Prime NumbersPrime Numbers can be a puzzling concept for many children.  “Why is one not a prime number?”, “Why are they important?”, “How many are there?” are all common questions.  The study of prime numbers can open the door to  an incredibly rich and deep mathematical knowledge.  A great place to start when teaching prime numbers is a clear definition and then an ongoing investigation into prime numbers.

According to A Maths Dictionary for Kids a prime number has exactly two factors and a prime number can only be divided evenly by itself and one.  It also states that one is not a prime number because it has one factor (1), not two.  Investigating prime numbers can be a fun and engaging whole class activity.  I have uploaded two charts that may help your class with prime numbers.  One is a one hundred chart with the prime numbers highlighted and the other is a one hundred chart that has not been highlighted.  You can use the blank chart to have the children investigate prime numbers and then enlarge the highlighted chart as a wall display.

The Prime Numbers Game

Gather the blank or coloured 0-100 chart, dice and a counter starting on zero. Then ask the children to role the dice and move that number of spaces on the chart.  If they land on a prime number they get to jump to the next prime number.  The player who passes 100 wins.  You can modify the game to suit younger age groups by making the winner the first to pass twenty or fifty.

Prime Number Chart 0-100

Blank Chart 0-100