Magic squares may date back to 650 BC in China. It is an ancient version of sudoku. The legend states that the Chinese Emperor was visited by a sacred turtle that came from the Yellow River. This turtle had numbers on its shell that form 3x3 magic square. The numbers on the shell were seen to have religious properties because the sum of the horizontal, diagonal and vertical values equal 15.
This exercise will help students understand the algebraic pattern contained in the magic square.