Students should work in groups on this activity. Each student gets their own sheet.
Explain that you are going to work one rectangle at a time and if a group moves on to the next rectangle before they are supposed to, then they are disqualified from the competition.
Start with the rectangle that says add. Tell them that you are going to give them 45 seconds to write down as many words as they might see in an algebraic word problem which would tell them to add. For example, you would write the word sum down in the rectangle.
Tell them to whisper to each other so that the other groups don't hear them.
After you have given them 45 seconds, tell them to put their pencils down and select one person who will be the group reporter. You will only listen to the words that the reporter says.
Call on one group at a time and ask them to read their words. Warn the other groups that they are not allowed to pick up their pencils or they will be disqualified from the competition.
Listen to the groups words. If you feel like one of their words doesn't fit, tell them why and then tell them to strike it out. Remember you are looking for words that the might see in an algebraic word problem. When the group is done reading their list, ask them how many words they have that you allowed them to keep and then tell them to write that number down in the rectangle.
Once you have listened to all the groups, tell the students to pick up a red pen. Tell them that they will add any words that you read from your list in red on their paper that they didn't have.
Once that is done, set your timer for 45 seconds and do the subtraction rectangle, multiplication, then division, and then equals.
Once all the rectangles have been done, have the groups total their rectangles and give the group that has the highest sum 10 extra points on their homework or some other prize that you want to give.
Answer Sheet is included.