This is an engaging activity that will leave your students scratching their heads in wonder.
What happens: You give a paper square to four students. They are directed to write the following on their square: first name, a number assigned by you (3, 4, 5, or 6), and a word containing that number of letters. Their squares and one filled out by you are then folded and placed in a container.
You will then pull out the squares one-by-one. For each square you will have the class solve an oral mixed combination (like 2 x 9 ÷ 3 + 7 – 6 = 7). The answer will identify what number is on the square, and that will also establish whose square it is. Without unfolding the paper, you will then identify the word that was written by that person. This process is repeated until the words on all five squares have been revealed. The students are absolutely baffled and astounded that you get each person’s word correct.
This resource includes instructions detailing the step-by-step procedure of this activity, including an explanation of the secret.