Card Games to Use in the Classroom

Teaching students some of these good old fashion card games is almost like introducing them to a whole new world! Card games are fun and motivating, promote social interaction and are a very effective way to practice skills. Card games can be leveled for use in math or literacy centers by making cards for each group of students depending on what they need to practice. Here are some of my favorite card games that can be used for any grade level. Click on the images to download the front of the cards, then you can add words or problems to the back such as: synonyms, antonyms, math facts, math problems, word families, sight words, vocabulary words and definitions, etc.

  • Memory: Place all the cards face down on the table. Students take turns flipping over two cards. If the cards match, they may keep the cards. If the cards don’t match, the player must place them back in the same spot on the table. The player with the most matches wins the game.  Click the image to download the cards.

  • Cat Lady (Old Maid): Deal all of the cards to the players. Players look for matches in their hands and set them aside. Then players take turns drawing a card from another player. If they get a match, they place the match in their pile. The person left holding the Cat Lady loses the game.  Each deck has only one Cat Lady. You need to print the Cat Lady page double sided with the card front page. You will have several Cat lady cards to use in several decks. Click the image to download the cards.

  • Go Fish: Deal each player four cards and leave the rest in a stack on the table. Players look for sets of cards in their hands and set them aside. The players take turns asking another player for a card. If the player, has the card, he/she must give it up. If the player does not have the card, he/she will say “Go fish” and the first player draws a card from the stack. The winner is the player with the most card sets. In this example the students must get a set of three cards in the same word family. Students can play Go Fish with sets of 2, 3 or 4 cards. Click the image to download the cards.

  • Spoons: Deal all the cards to the players and place one less spoon than the total number of players in the center of the table. Players look for matches in their hands and set them aside. One player will say “Discard” and all the players will discard one card to their left. The players pick up the card on their right and decide if they want to keep it. When players make a set, they will set them to the side. Players continue discarding and picking up a new card. The first player to get rid of all the cards in his/her hand quietly takes a spoon. Each player grabs a spoon and the student without a spoon gets a letter in the word SPOONFUL. The first player to spell the whole word loses the game. In this example students are gathering a set of four cards with the same quotient. Students may play Spoons with sets of 2,3 or 4 cards. Click the image to download the cards.

I hope your students have lots of fun playing these card games!