The Above ‘n Below Battleship game gives kids a chance to work with a coordinate graphing system using a fun and exciting new spin. The first player picks two points on the grid that represent the path of his battleship. The second player doesn’t see the points that are picked. As if they were sending signals to each other in the fog, the first player gives the second player a coordinate point that does NOT lie on the #5, 6, 7 zones.

The second player has to venture a guess as to whether she thinks that point lies directly on the battleship path or is above or below it. Once the second player declares where she thinks the point is in relationship to the path by making a guess, then the first player must verify whether the guess is correct or incorrect. Then they switch and the second player gives clues to the first player about her battleship. Over time the hot/cold aspect of the clues received about the location of the opponent’s battleship helps the players pinpoint the ships’ locations.

The guessing continues and becomes more and more precise until one of the players can pinpoint the location of the other’s ship. The pinpointed location was in an off-limits area which was not provided by clues, so the player who correctly lays out the path with the coordinates can extrapolate the points where the ship will be located in the #5, 6, 7 zones. Along the way, students have had fun guessing the position of their opponent’s ship. Coordinates become much more meaningful when they are presented in the context of a pinpointed location.

Also, this game provides the conceptual underpinnings of how linear equations are formed through data from coordinate points. The geometric concept of a unique line through any two given points on a plane could also be introduced during this game.

Common Core Mathematical Standard 5.G Graph points on the coordinate plane to solve real-world and mathematical problems.