Martian Kings and Queens

I love those activities where you give groups a wealth of information on a set of cards and they have to sort out what’s going on.  The cards can be a brilliant exercise in problem-solving and when used with a group they generate great discussions.  The Association of Teachers of Mathematics ( ) publishes a couple of collections (e.g. “We Can Work It Out”) but here’s one of my own.

It comes from a pack of activities built around the idea of children making a school exchange visit to Mars.  I never got around to completing the package, so the Kings and Queens activity is pretty well all that survives.  You need to print out and cut up two sets of cards; the first set gives you the information about the task and the second contains the rulers you need to put in order.  The two sets are of different shapes so they’re easily distinguishable.

What WordPress thinks it’s doing with Word tables is beyond me, but this link may be useful.


Have fun – I’m pretty sure there’s only one solution.


When a Martian ruler dies his / her eldest child becomes the new ruler. Kings’ names always end in –o.   Queens’ names always end in –a.  


The list of rulers – NOT in order – is:

Gimba, Konda, Lispa, Mimba I, Mimba II, Rusta, Bobo I, Bobo II, Bobo III, Bobo IV, Denpo, Pando I, Pando II

Can you put them in the correct order?
The second ruler was Bobo II. The first queen was Gimba.  



There have twice been three queens in succession, but only once have there been three kings in succession.


There have never been four queens in succession or four kings in succession.
Denpo is the current ruler. Lispa was the mother of Pando II. Denpo is the grandson of Lispa.  



Mimba I and Mimba II were both the daughters of queens and the mothers of queens.



The eldest child of Bobo I was also called Bobo.


The eldest child of Bobo III was also called Bobo.


Bobo III was the grandfather of Pando I.




Rusta was the great-grandmother of Pando II.








Mimba I

Mimba II


Bobo I

Bobo II

Bobo III

Bobo IV


Pando I

Pando II


2 responses

  1. Should the 2nd set of cards be the same size as the 1st set?
    Wordpress will allow you to attach a pdf of the file to the post, too.

    1. The two sets do different job, so I want them to be easily distinguishable.

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