Primary maths: Factors, multiples and primes

Sian Evans
12th June 2018
Colourful numbers representing primary maths lessons on factors, multiples and primes

Engaging lesson ideas and practice questions to help young learners get to grips with factors, multiples and primes

With factors, multiples and primes underpinning many mathematical techniques, and often being intertwined with multiplication and division, it is essential that students understand the relationship between different numbers. To get you started, here are just some of the great resources that the Tes community have tried out with their classes.

Classroom activities

Encourage independent exploration of these key concepts with help from these creative approaches. These are just the sort of challenges that will consolidate learners' understanding.


Factors, Multiples & Primes: Activity & Worksheet Pack

A set of activities to help students work on recognising factors, multiples, prime and square numbers. Including:

1. Factors & Multiples Mystery Grids
Students must use clues to work out the missing numbers in the grid. Example clues are: 'The number in the top right is a factor of all the numbers in the grid' and 'The number in the top right is a square number and a cube number'. Includes 3 different puzzles.

2. Special Numbers Activity Pack
This includes three different activities for more varied practice:
a. Number Puzzles: I'm thinking of a number, can you work out what it is? Students use clues such as 'My number is a prime number and a factor of 51' to work out a set of number puzzles.
b. Factors & Multiples Two Way Table: Students have to work out where the numbers go to complete the two way table.
c. Special Number 4 in a Line Game: Playing in pairs, students have to choose a card such as 'An Even Square Number'. They then find an example of their card on a grid of numbers and claim it. The first person to get four squares in a row, wins.

3. Prime Numbers & Composites Puzzles
These puzzles are about different ways of writing a number. Students must fill all the circles with prime numbers and the squares with composites (non-primes). Sets students up nicely for thinking about prime factorisation later on.
By MathspadUK

Colour by numbers Factors Multiples Primes

A colour-by-numbers sheet that asks children to know their / factors / multiples /primes.
By jamesn1ccaa

Factors and Multiples: Math Maze

This math maze is a great way for students to practice their skills with factors and multiples. The solution is included.

By ScienceSpot

Odd One Out Worksheet - Prime numbers, multiples, squares, factors

A worksheet with 15 questions and 16 answers where pupils need to eliminate the correct answers to find the odd one out (work out the left over answer).
Topics are: factors, HCF, primes, multiples, square numbers, even/ odd numbers.
A good resource for consolidation of these topics.
Final answer on this worksheet is 21.
(Note: see also "Odd one out" worksheets on square numbers, cube numbers and roots, and BIDMAS).
By lunchbox1

Lesson ideas

It's worth taking your students step-by-step through the essential skills and ensuring that they understand the basics from the outset. These clear, visual presentations will help you do just that.


Prime Numbers worksheet and PowerPoint

A worksheet and PowerPoint covering prime numbers.
By sessa1

Maths KS2: The language of numbers: factors, multiples, factor pairs, common factors, prime factors

Full set of resources to cover types of number for mathematics national curriculum in Year 5. Great for preparation for SATs in Year 6, or revision at KS3.
Four clear PowerPoints with lots of questions and exercises, all with answers.
‘Identify multiples and factors, including finding all factor pairs of a number, and common factors of two numbers.’
By colinbillett


Teaching multiples should be fun but sometimes it’s hard work for both teacher and student. Here is a comprehensive 20 slide presentation about multiples that can introduce or consolidate the understanding about what exactly is a multiple.

Children are bombarded with lots of different vocabulary and this breaks down the concept in a very simple way.

Tried and tested in the classroom - with bright and colourful characters to help children move on with their learning.

Might help that dreaded lesson observation go a bit smoother!

Images are presented on a powerpoint but each slide can be lifted as a whole png. image and can be uploaded onto interactive whiteboard programmes such as ActivBoard or Smart board for easy annotation and children’s engagement. All fonts are locked as well as images so nothing will be lost if you transfer it to your preferred method of presentation.


By KatQatresources

Prime Numbers

PowerPoint on prime numbers. Highlights the importance of them and how to find them along with the first 100 prime numbers!
By dangower45


There is plenty of opportunity to problem solve with this topic, which makes these fun games and puzzles the perfect round-up to a factors, multiples or primes lesson. Try a new activity today!


Prime Numbers (Interactive Whiteboard Game)

This is a fun interactive whiteboard game, created in PowerPoint, with triggered animations. All my students have loved this activity ('Sir, can we play the chain-game?'). It is enjoyable for both high and low ability – it not only reinforces the learning of the prime numbers, but students also need to remember where the numbers are hidden!
I typically use this activity as a starter and then as a plenary at the end of the lesson. It gets the whole class involved – even when it's not a students turn, they are repeating the numbers in their head and they are desperate to say where the next number is!

The way that I play the game:
1. I go through the members of the sequence and ensure that the students are familiar with each of the numbers;
2. When the board is revealed, I give about 15 seconds to ‘peek’ at the uncovered board so that the students can try to learn where the first few numbers are;
3. I then call up the students one-at-a-time to try an uncover as many numbers as they can before they go wrong.

I encourage the students to call out the number that they are looking for because this reinforces the learning.

This activity works very well if you get two students to play against each other – either on the interactive whiteboard or on PCs.
By Maths4Everyone

Factors / Multiples

Factors and Multiples Games and Activities for KS2 starters, warm ups, early finishers tasks, revision etc. A differentiated set of over 70 cards to be used for self-checking factors work or for fun games, plus 6 game boards and 36 cards for Multiples Bingo / Lotto. Ideal for Years 5 and 6 (Y5 / Y6) and early KS3.

Lower ability file features numbers up to 100. Higher ability file includes many more challenging numbers, up to 16,000. The cards are designed to be printed double-sided with the answers (all factors of the number) on the back. Once you have printed the front side, pop your paper or card back in the printer and print the answers.

This works especially well as an early finisher activity. Pupil Instruction Card is included for ‘Factors Frenzy’ game, where children compete to find as many factors of a number as they can. It could get quite competitive!

6 bingo boards, each featuring 6 numbers between 2 and 12. Print and laminate these as well as the 36 number cards (which each feature four numbers). When picking up a card, players must decide if the four numbers on their card are ALL multiples of a single number on their board. If so, they can place it over that number. If not, they put it back. There’s tactical thinking in this game as some children will realise that all multiples of i.e. 12 are also multiples of 6, 4, 3, 2 - so they will need to prioritise covering the numbers for which there are fewer cards. A couple of cards will not be able to be placed on anyone’s board as there is no common multiple. As usual, the first to cover all numbers is the winner. A Pupil Instruction Card is included for this game too. It comes in both colour and black and white.

These are available for a saving in a bundle (see below).

I hope your pupils enjoy using them and that they save you time. You might be interested in some of my other Maths resources, including these KS2 Maths Puzzles, my fastest-selling resource of all:
KS2 Mental Maths Puzzles
Angles Game
Angles Activity Pack
Line Symmetry Games
Area / Perimeter Bundle

For time-saving printables and presentations to plan Primary Literacy, Maths / Numeracy and French lessons, please visit FullShelf Resources

By FullShelf

Factor Bugs (inc Prime numbers) game

This cute power point introduces factor bugs as a fun way of getting pupils to find factors of numbers. The bugs have legs which are usually in pairs. There’s also the Prime Minister bug.

By DaveGale

Factors Frenzy | Card Game for learning Factors & Multiples

This is a card game for learning Factors and Multiples. It works great as a competitive game as well as cards for individual tuition.

The pack contains a full set of rules and a cheat sheet to show which multiples go with what factors. The cards are also super easy to cut out thanks to easy-cut guides.

This game is available in CARD GAME BUNDLE 2 with 4 other card games at a discount.

You may also like:
-Factors Matching Activity
-Prime Factors Follow Me Cards
-Space Conquest, Board Game for learning Multiples and Prime Numbers.
By LittleStreams

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