Counting Coins Math Mystery | Math Challenge | Math Enrichment 1st & 2nd Grade


Practice counting coins while solving collaborative math enrichment challenges in first and second grade! Solve the money mystery of Carl the Circus Clown!


Want to try an escape room without all the stress? Use this counting coins math mystery, perfect for math enrichment! In this math challenge, students will practice counting money while engaged in solving a mystery!

This digital (Google Slides & Seesaw) & printable money game is a hit! This is the perfect set of counting coins activities and practice for 1st grade & 2nd grade students!

The Case of Carl the Circus Clown

In this mystery, students will learn that Carl the Clown has gone missing, and they need to find him before the next show! Students will complete four counting coins math challenges and earn clues to solve the mystery and figure out where Carl is located!

How Can I Use This Resource?

Whether you’re teaching in the classroom or teaching virtually, I’ve got you covered! For teachers in the classroom, everything can be easily printed and assigned to students. I’ve included black & white ink-friendly options, too. For teachers teaching virtually, this resource has also been converted to Google Slides and Seesaw, so you can assign everything remotely!

How Long Does It Take To Complete This Math Mystery?

I suggest using this resource over the course of one week. This will give your students Monday through Thursday to complete all challenges (one to two per day), and then on Friday students can sift through the clues to solve the mystery. If you have time or want to plan an extra engaging day, you could also make an entire morning and/or afternoon of the whole thing and do it all at once! *Please note that doing the entire mystery in one day will take more than you probably have allotted during your math time!

Here’s a Look Inside:

  • Teacher Directions: How to implement, set-up, and use both in the classroom or digitally
  • Missing: Students will learn how Carl the Clown is missing and must be found!
  • Challenge Checklist: Students will use this page to track their progress on all 4 money math challenges
  • Where is Carl?: Students will receive a file with four possible places Carl could be located. As students earn clues, they will use them to find Carl.
  • The Clues: After completing challenges, students will earn four clues to help them solve the mystery.
  • 4 Counting Coins Math Challenges: There are 3 levels for each challenge so you can differentiate as needed. Take a look below at the differentiated levels:
    • Level One Skills: Counting coins up to 50 cents (dimes, nickels & pennies)
    • Level Two: Counting coins up to $1.00 (quarters, dimes, nickels, & pennies)
    • Level Three: Counting money up to $5.00
  • Letter to the Circus: After students have received all of the clues, they will use this page to write a letter to the circus friends telling them where to find Carl.
  • Found! Are your students ready to see if they were right? Display this page to find out!
  • Challenge Answer Keys

Find more math mysteries below!

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