Teach Through A Deck of Cards: Salute

Teach Through A Deck of Cards: Salute

Age level: Early Elementary, Upper Elementary
Description: I use card games a lot with my students. In fact, I always have a deck of cards in my bag. Today’s card game is a simple game to practice addition, multiplication, and basic algebraic thinking.
You need three players to play this game, one “captain” and two players. All the facecards should be removed from the deck, but the aces remain in to represent one.  The captain deals all the cards to the two players. When the captain says “Salute”, both players lift the card from the top of their respective decks and hold it up to their foreheads, with the card facing out so the other player can see it. The captain states the sum (or product if you’re practicing multiplication) of the two cards. The two players try to be the first to guess the two addends (or factors.) The player who responds correctly first gets to keep both cards. The player with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
Modifications: This game is really limited just to addition or multiplication skills. There aren’t many modifications I’ve used with this particular game, other than the basic modification (mentioned on the When page) of utilizing a time limit. In this modification, instead of playing until the deck of cards runs out, you play until the timer buzzes. Another modification is to deal out cards to all three players, and trade turns being the captain so that all students get to practice both skills (adding/multiplying and algebraic thinking) during the game.
Skills: Single-digit addition or multiplication, basic algebraic thinking
Pros: The rules are pretty simple to follow, and students tend to enjoy the “secret” or “code-breaking” aspect of the game.
Cons: The game requires three players. Depending on your environment, this may not be always be possible. I have sometimes played with four players, but this becomes more difficult since each round one player is not engaged in play. Sometimes I will give that student an extra job, such as math checker.
Cost: Free (unless you don’t own a deck of cards…) Should I buy this? If you don’t have a deck of cards, you should buy one! There are so many great games out there, and there will be many more listed here.
ABLLS: A10, R9

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