4 in a Row
Teaching position and direction concepts in a fun and engaging way can be a challenge. That’s why we’ve created the "4 in a Row" game—an exciting, free printable game designed to help year 2, year 3, and year 4 students master the basics of coordinates while having fun with their classmates. This game is perfect for reinforcing the key skills of identifying and using coordinates on a grid in a competitive, interactive setting.
What Is the "4 in a Row" Game?
The "4 in a Row" game is an easytosetup, printable activity that combines strategy, positional awareness, and a bit of friendly competition. The game board features a grid labeled with coordinates, along with a table to keep track of scores using tally marks. Students work together or compete against each other to get four of their marks in a row, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
How to Play the "4 in a Row" Game
The rules are simple and quick to learn, making it a perfect classroom activity:

Set Up the Game Board: Print out the "4 in a Row" game board and distribute it to the players. Each player chooses their symbol—either an "O" or an "X."

Pick a Spot and Say Its Coordinates: Players take turns choosing a spot on the grid and saying the coordinates aloud, such as “B7” or “F3.” This helps reinforce their ability to identify and verbalize grid coordinates.

Mark the Spot: Once the coordinates are called, players mark the spot on the grid with their chosen symbol (either "O" or "X"). This continues until all grid spaces are filled or a player successfully gets four in a row.

Get 4 in a Row: The goal is to get four of your symbols in a row—horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Each time a player achieves four in a row, they score a point.

Record Points as Tally Marks: Players keep track of their points by adding tally marks in the provided table next to the grid. This visual representation helps students see who is leading in the game and makes it easier to keep score.

End of the Game: Once all the coordinates are taken, the game ends. The player with the most points wins!
Why Use the "4 in a Row" Game in Your Classroom?
This printable game is not just fun—it’s also educational, helping students grasp key mathematical concepts through play. Here’s why it’s a great addition to your teaching toolkit:

Reinforces Coordinate Skills: By repeatedly identifying and calling out coordinates, students improve their understanding of grids, positioning, and direction—skills that are fundamental in many areas of math and everyday life.

Encourages Strategic Thinking: The challenge of getting four in a row requires students to think ahead and plan their moves, developing their problemsolving and strategic thinking skills.

Engages All Learners: The simple, competitive nature of the game keeps students engaged and excited to participate, making learning fun and effective.

Perfect for Pair or Group Work: "4 in a Row" is ideal for pair or small group activities, promoting cooperative learning as students discuss strategies and work together.

Easy to Set Up and Play: With just a printable grid and some pencils, the game is ready to go. It’s perfect for use as a warmup activity, a center game, or a timefiller that still keeps students learning.
Tips for Using the "4 in a Row" Game
Here are some ideas to maximize the educational impact of the game:

Encourage Mathematical Discussion: Ask students to explain their reasoning when choosing coordinates, helping them articulate their understanding of positioning.

Use as a Review Activity: This game is a great way to review previously taught coordinate skills in an enjoyable and engaging way.

Create Variations: Change the rules slightly to keep the game fresh—challenge students to get five in a row, limit the number of turns, or introduce barriers on the grid.

Extend Learning: Once students are confident with the basics, introduce new challenges like negative coordinates or more complex grid systems.
Download Your Free "4 in a Row" Game Today!
Ready to bring this fun, interactive game into your classroom? Click the button below to download your free "4 in a Row" printable game. With easytofollow instructions and an engaging game format, it’s the perfect way to make learning position and direction concepts a blast for your students. Download now and get ready to watch your students' skills grow while they have a great time competing to win!