I am a huge fan of simple games for upper elementary students. Sometimes the less flashy, the better, so that students can understand the purpose and the math behind them. One of my favorite games to have available for students to play is Billy Bug. It is a coordinate graphing game and it’s super easy and fun.
Usually I do a “game talk”, similar to a book talk, where I introduce how to play the game. Showing just a few examples, even my third graders catch on. It is a really fun introduction to coordinate graphing, the concept of negative numbers in the advanced version, and the x and y axis. (Click on the photos below to go to the two versions.)
I’ve also used this with 4th and 5th graders as a short warm up during a summer school educational games online class. It is simple enough that it can be played for 5 minutes. That is really all you need!
A great review of coordinate graphing in a simple and fun way!