Letters in Numbers

Can You Find...

... an even number with an odd number of letters?

... a square number with a prime number of letters?

... a cube number with a triangular number of letters?

... an odd number with an even number of letters?

... a prime number with a square number of letters?

... a triangular number with a cube number of letters?

Extension: Which numbers have the same number of letters as their value?

A Mathematics Lesson Starter Of The Day

Topics: Starter | Number

  • Mr Hamshaw-Hart, Beverley Grammar School
  • For the extension question... Which numbers have the same number of letters as their value? Top set year 11 also found 'positive fifteen'
  • Linda Dunbar,
  • I love the idea of this, but would be helpful if it was seperated into grade levels. I'd especially love to see something geared towards younger children (I teach Kindergarten).
  • M Vestey, Sheffield
  • Strictly speaking, 1 is not a prime number, it is the multiplicative identity.
  • Mr Taylor, Gartree High School, Leicester
  • Nice activity, thanks!
    But... prime numbers all have 2 factors, one and themselves, so one is not a prime number as it only has one factor.
    Also, could you move the extension question to below the original problem please? It's not any help below the answers as you don't see it until everybody's finished..

    [Transum: Thanks for the suggestion Mr Taylor, the extension has been moved up. Think again about one. It has three letters]
  • Victoria Hughes, St Josephs High School
  • Great starter thanks. To those who are referring to the find a square number with a prime number of letters that would 1, has it has three letters (prime).

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Laptops In Lessons

Teacher, do your students have access to computers such as tablets, iPads or Laptops?  This page was really designed for projection on a whiteboard but if you really want the students to have access to it here is a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments:


However it would be better to assign one of the student interactive activities below.

Laptops In Lessons

Here is the URL which will take them to the extension activity.


Student Activity


Another Extension

In the game Scrabble, which number when played as a word is the same as its score?
Here is a list of the points available for the letter tiles:
(1 point)-A, E, l, O, U, L, N, S, T, R
(2 points)-D, G
(3 points)-B, C, M, P
(4 points)-F, H, V, W, Y
(5 points)-K
(8 points)-J, X
(10 points)-Q, Z

Curriculum Reference

See the National Curriculum page for links to related online activities and resources.


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