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Carronade

Use your symmetry skills to sink your opponent's fleet before they sink yours.

Ages: 5+
Players: 2
Time: Under 10 Minutes
Type: shape games
Location: tabletop
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Ages: 5+
Players: 2
Time: Under 10 Minutes
Type: shape games
Location: tabletop

Instructions

Fold a piece of paper in half. Each player draws 3 ships in their color on their side of the fold. These ships should be roughly the same size as each other.

Drawing small blue and red boats on each side of a folded paper

Players take turns (youngest first) firing cannonballs to try and sink each other's ships. To fire a cannonball, use a pencil to draw a dark dot on your side of the paper (the same side as your ships).

Drawing a dot in pencil

Then fold the paper over and scribble over the dot you just drew.

Coloring in pencil on the back side of the folded paper

The dot will transfer to your opponent's side of the paper!

Drawing small blue and red boats on each side of a folded paper
Almost got it!

Unfold the paper and see where your cannonball landed. The goal is to hit your opponent's ship. When a ship gets hit by a cannonball, it sinks. Draw an X over sunken ships.

Piece of paper with one boat is crossed off

The first player to sink their opponent's entire fleet wins!

All the red boats are crossed off
Blue wins!

Don't forget: it's Beast Academy Playground, not Beast Academy Study Hall. Change the rules, be silly, make mistakes, and try again. The Variations and Learning Notes are here for you if you want to dive deeper, but not all of them apply to learners of every age. The most important thing is to have fun.

Variations d

Crooked Cannons:

For more of a challenge, make the fold at a slight angle across the page.

Game of Carronade on a paper with a crooked fold across the middle

With a crooked fold, there are some parts of the paper where cannonballs can't reach. You aren't allowed to draw ships in these areas. After all the ships are drawn, fold the paper closed and make sure you can't see any ships peeking out on either side.

Space Battle:

Instead of drawing ships, make UFOs by tracing coins of different sizes. For example, each player might trace a dime, a nickel, and a quarter. Then flip a coin to see who goes first!

Double Fold:

Make two folds (one vertical, one horizontal) across the paper, forming 4 regions. Each player draws three ships in one of the top regions. (The bottom regions stay empty.)

A paper folded horizontally and vertically, with red ships drawn in the upper left and blue ships drawn on the upper right

On each turn, a cannonball will reflect over two folds. Draw a dot in the bottom corner under your own ships.

A pencil dot drawn on the bottom left

Then fold the paper along the vertical line and scribble to copy the dot to the bottom corner under your opponent's ships.

The pencil dot reflected to the bottom right

Redraw the dot over the reflection point. Then fold the paper across the horizontal line and scribble to copy the dot to your opponent's region.

The pencil dot reflected to the upper right, beside a blue ship

Classroom Tips d

Carronade will become a class favorite! It's perfect for a lesson on reflectional symmetry (or rotational symmetry; see Double Fold below). Once your students get the hang of it, encourage them to make their own variation with a theme of their choosing! (We've seen Star Wars versions, Pokémon versions, etc.)

Discussion Questions

  • What strategy do you use when placing your ships?
  • Is there an advantage to placing your ships first, or second?
  • Do you see anything in the classroom that has reflectional or rotational symmetry? (see Learning Notes)
  • What can you think of that has more than one line of symmetry?

Alignment with Beast Academy Curriculum

  • Level 4, Chapter1: Shapes (This game in in the guide book.)

See Variations and Learning Notes for more ideas on how to adapt this activity and incorporate it into your classroom.

Learning Notes d

Symmetry:

The fold in the sheet of paper acts as a line of symmetry for the cannonballs. By copying the pencil dot over the fold, players are creating a reflection of their cannonball over the line of symmetry. The kind of symmetry modeled by the cannonballs is called reflectional symmetry. Examples of everyday things that have reflectional symmetry are faces, butterflies, and letters like A and T. Can you think of more?

The Double Fold variation above reflects each cannonball over two lines of symmetry. The result is that the cannonball has rotated 180 degrees around the center of the paper. (You can imagine a 180 degree rotation by thinking of how far you have to rotate a piece of paper to turn it completely upside down.) This is called 180-degree rotational symmetry. Examples of everyday things that have rotational symmetry include windmills, pinwheels, and letters like N and Z.

Note that there are different kinds of rotational symmetry. In our game, rotating the paper 180 degrees (that is, turning it upside-down, or rotating it 1/2 of the way back to its original orientation) results in the cannonball's starting location overlapping with its ending location. But some objects don't need to be rotated 180 degrees to look the same. A pinwheel with 4 points would only need to be rotated 1/4th of the way around to line up to where it began. A pinwheel with 5 points would only need to be rotated 1/5th of the way around. A perfect circle can be rotated any amount and still look exactly the same!

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Materials
  • markers
  • paper
  • pencil
Learning Goals
  • symmetry
  • spatial reasoning
Common Core Standards
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Ready to level up?

Keep problem solving with Beast Academy’s full math curriculum for students ages 7–13. Check out our captivating comic book series and immersive online platform.

LEARN MORE

Bring problem-solving to your classroom

Keep your entire class engaged with a full book and online math curriculum, for students ages 7–13. 98% of teachers say they’re satisfied with Beast Academy.

LEARN MORE
Image of a BA book