Teach Through Games: Slamwich

Teach Through Games: Slamwich

Age Level: Early Elementary, Upper Elementary
Description: In this fast-paced card game, players take turns placing cards in the center pile and try to be the first to slap the deck when they see a Slamwich (two of the same cards separated by one that’s different,) a Double Decker (two of the same cards in a row,) or a Thief (one of the thief cards showing a dog, cat, or ants stealing a sandwich.) The player to collect all the cards wins the game. I’ve been playing Slamwich with my students for years and it is a consistent favorite.
Skills & Modifications: The most common modification I make to this game is to set a time limit. I set the timer for an appropriate amount of time for my learner. When the timer goes off, everyone counts their cards and the player with the most cards wins. For more information on how to shape gameplay for Slamwich, take a look at the guide below.

Check out How to Shape Gameplay for Slamwich by Sam Blanco on Snapguide.

Patterns: The game requires learners to recognize patterns, specifically when an item repeats or when there is an A-B-A pattern. It also encourages learners to predict what would complete a pattern to increase their chances of recognizing the pattern first.
Tacting (labeling) items: Tacting items occurs naturally in this game with several of my learners who are motivated by the silliness of some of the pictures. It’s not uncommon for a kid to exclaim, “gummy worms! On a sandwich?!”
Playing with speed: The game requires learners to quickly identify patterns in order to win. Unfortunately, i have not been able to modify this aspect of the game in order to make it more accessible for learners who struggle with this.
Peer Play: For my learners who are highly motivated by the cards, this is a great tool for increasing opportunities for peer play. It’s also useful that each turn has a clearly visible beginning and end.
Accepting Errors: I like this game for accepting errors because if a player slaps cards when they shouldn’t be slapped, then he/she loses a card but the game immediately resumes. It provides little time for a player to fixate on the error and the error is also covered up by the next player’s card. This can be useful for kids who struggle with continuing a game after making a mistake.
Pros: It appeals to kids’ silly side. There are also several versions of the game to choose from, including one that has giant cards.
Cons: Speed of play may be an obstacle for some learners with autism. I have had some students who love playing the game with me but never learn to play fast enough in order to play with peers.
Ideas for extending the lesson:
Cost: $12.99 You should invest in this game if: you have a learner who is motivated by visual patterns, you are seeking age appropriate games for an elementary-aged child with autism, or you have a learner who is motivated by silly images (such as a cat running away with a sandwich.)
ABLLS: G4, I8, K15
VB-MAPP: Tact 7

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