Numbers and Operations Lesson Plan: The Online Game Krypto

Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

In this numbers and operations lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 3-8, students use BrainPOP resources to explore the function of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in problem solving. Students will select the correct operation and numeral to create an accurate number sentence in interactive game play.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Understand the function of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in problem solving.
  2. Select the correct operation and numeral to create an accurate number sentence in interactive game play.


  • LCD projector and/or interactive whiteboard
  • Enough computers for pairs of students to use
  • Internet access for BrainPOP resources
  • 10 index cards or pieces of scrap paper for each student
  • 1 envelope for each student
  • Markers, crayons, or colored pencils


Gather the writing utensils, envelopes, and paper needed for this lesson plan, and famiarize yourself with the BrainPOP resources. This lesson plan uses an online interactive game called Krypto to help students understand operations. The rules of Krypto are simple: Combine five number cards using the four arithmetic operations (+, –, ×, ÷) to arrive at a "target" number. Students drag-and-drop the number cards onto the game board. The cards will snap into place on the outlined squares. From the small squares, players choose which operation is to be performed.

There are three buttons used to control the game: Deal (in which players get a new set of number cards and a new target number), Hint (which reveals one possible set of operations that yield a solution solve), and See Our Solution (which is not necessarily the only solution.)

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Build background with BrainPOP resources.
  2. Project Krypto for the class to see and explain the basics of game play. Model problem solving strategies for students and encourage them to suggest solutions. If they experience frustration, you may want to click the Hint button to reveal which operation goes in which box.
  3. Pair students up and allow them to play several rounds of Krypto together. Then bring students back to a whole-class discussion to talk about their strategies.
  4. Challenge students to create their own Krypto game using 10 index cards or paper scraps. They should write an accurate number sentence like one they've seen on Krypto, with each digit and operation on a separate card. They may want to use a red marker for each digit, blue for each operation, and green for the target number (or some other indicator which makes it easier for students to visually process the information they see.)
  5. Have partners check one another's number sentences for accuracy, then place their cards in an envelope. On the outside of the envelope, have them write their name. They should also label each card with their name in case any pieces become mixed up.
  6. Allow students to trade envelopes with one another and try to find a correct number sentence. You may want to set a timer to limit the amount of time students are given to solve and check their work, and then have them trade again. Talk with students about what they learned. Is there more than one solution for some set of cards? Why or why not?
  7. Place the envelopes in a math center for students to explore later on. If they encounter difficulty in solving, they can ask for help from the person whose name is written on the outside of the envelope. Alternatively, you can have students write the correct number sentence on the inside of the envelope or on a class list so that students can check their work independently.

Extension Activity:

More games by this developer are available on the Illuminations website. Be sure to check out the other Math Games featured in GameUp!