# Log War Activity for Practicing Logarithms

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To give my Algebra 2 students much-needed practice with logarithms, we played log war.

I printed and laminated decks of logarithm war cards.  There are many different sets of log cards available online to download.  I chose a deck created by Lisa Henry. Her download is no longer available online, so I have posted the file I got her from her at the bottom of this post.  I chose this deck because the location of the x varied from card to card.

Some of my students discovered the logarithm button on their calculators WAY before I intended them too.  By varying the location of x, these students were still forced to convert the equation from logarithmic form to exponential form.  I know, I’m mean.

Last year, I used a deck created by someone else.  It had fractions and negative numbers as answers which I liked, but the variable location never changed.  I didn’t laminate these cards, and the card stock didn’t hold up as well as I’d hoped.  Maybe some day I will make my own deck of cards that has everything I’m looking for.

My students LOVED log war.  I was surprised, though, by the number of students who said that they had never played war with a deck of cards.  I had them play in groups of 3.  Everybody flips over a card.  Each person evaluates the logarithm before them.  Whoever has the largest x-value gets to keep all the cards.  If there is a tie, everybody involved in the tie flips over a new card.  The winner of that gets to take all the cards that have been laid down.

The goal is to end up with all the cards.  As soon as 1 person ran out of cards, the other two players were declared victors.  I did this to ensure that everybody was participating all the time.  If we played until one person had all the cards, that would mean some students would not be participating.  Even my kids who usually hate to participate in anything got into this activity!

I loved walking around the room and listening to the conversations taking place.  They quickly caught on to which cards had negative or fractional answers.  They were patient with each other for the most part.  Explanations were given when needed from student to student.  It was a beautiful lesson because it pretty much ran itself.  It was fun and engaging.  And, I can’t imagine teaching logs with log war!

If you don’t believe me, take it from one of my students: “I wish math class could be like this every day!”