All Decked Out


by Deborah Sacker

Deborah enjoys teaching children from many backgrounds. She loves people, reading, animals, and life.


Instructional Objective All Decked Out is two instructional card games designed for playing with one deck.

Clothes Wars This game teaches relative wearing positions (toe-to-head) of various clothing GARMENTS while giving instruction in the reading of GARMENT names.

Clothes Rummy This game teaches students to identify the appropriate "Wearer" of various clothing GARMENTS amongst the choices of: man, woman, boy, and girl. Additionally, this game will review the reading of GARMENT names.

Learners/Context The learners are the Mentally Challenged (Educable Retarded) child or adult learner in a reading program. These games would be used in a classroom or workshop setting. They will reinforce the living skills taught regarding appropriate dress, and reading instruction of the names of the clothing garments.

Rationale This special population responds well to materials they can manipulate; hold, move, touch. Card games allow for the involvement of players simultaneously, encouraging verbal interaction, and social group interaction. Additionally, the card format allows instructors to use the deck as flash cards to remediate with slower learners when necessary.

Rules The rules for the two card games are:


Clothes Wars This game requires two to four players. As in all war games, one player deals the entire deck. Players simultaneously present the top card of their stack. The holder of the most valuable card captures all other players' cards. Players repeat this process until one player possesses all the game cards.


In this game, cards depicting garments worn closest to the head have greater value, with outside garments taking control over inside garments. For example, if three players each turn over their top card, exposing a shoe, a belt, and a pair of slacks respectively, the belt would capture all three cards in this round. This is because the slacks and belt are worn farther up (closer to the head) than the shoes, and the belt is worn outside the slacks.


The "outside of" rule makes shoes more valuable than socks, slacks and skirts more valuable than underwear, blouses and shirts more valuable than undershirts and bras, etc.


If players turn up two or more cards of equal value (that is a man's slacks and a girl's skirt), a WAR is played out amongst the tied players. Each tied player places three cards face down upon his or her card before turning a forth card face up. The holder of the more valuable of the second "face up" cards will take all ten cards. If the new "face up" cards are also of equal value, the "three cards face down-one card face up" procedure continues until one player finally has a card of greater value. If a "warring" player runs out of cards before the round is complete, the player with remaining cards takes all the opponent's cards and continues play with the other surviving players.


Instructors can enhance verbal and reading practice by making all players read or spell the names of GARMENTS portrayed during play.


Clothes Rummy One player deals eight cards to each of the four players. The players must use card exchange to create two books (groups) of four cards to win. Players can make books of either four GARMENTS of equal value (man's hat, and woman's hat, and boy's cap, and girl's visor) or they make books of four GARMENTS in the same wearer's color or suit ( four GARMENTS with names of the same color, that is all red, show women's GARMENTS).


Players exchange cards in usual Rummy fashion. After the dealer passes out eight cards to each player, he or she places the remaining cards face down in the center (blind deck), and turns the top card face-up beside the deck. Starting with the player to the left of the dealer, each player takes either the card facing up (if it benefits his or her hand), or the top card from the blind deck, to build books. Players must always discard a card so no more than eight cards are in their hand. Players can discard an unwanted card chosen from the blind deck for that turn. The discard is placed on the "face-up" pile, and becomes the card the next player may choose unless deciding to pick from the blind deck. Play continues until one player creates two 4 card books from their hand.


Card Design


Each card has the illustration of a GARMENT, with the name of the GARMENT above the illustration. Each card is symmetrical to be read easily from either end.


Additionally, GARMENTS names are color coded as follows to create suits for the "ClothesRummy" version of the game.

* Men = Dark Blue

* Women = Red

* Boys = Light Blue

* Girls = Pink

Deck Design All 36 cards depict one GARMENT. All GARMENTS are in the four color-coded suit versions ( men's, women's, boy's, girl's), with corresponding versions of the following GARMENTS:


Socks Shoes Slacks/Skirts

Belts Shirts/Blouses Undershirts/Bra

Jackets/Sweaters Headwear Underwear

Design Process The original design of the card was not much different from the result. The exception is that I had begun with the GARMENT names written vertically down the top left (and in the same position at the bottom left, as these are symmetrical cards). This was done to make the names of the garments very visible when fanning the cards for the "Rummy" version of card play.


I decided to move the garment names when I realized it was an unnecessary complication to require the mentally challenged learner to read in the vertical format. I therefore opted to sacrifice some "fan-ability" for better readability. A second modification was to simplify the "Rummy" format by color coding the GARMENT names.


I was interested in creating a deck of cards that allowed for two game-plays. The primary reason for this is the length of time it takes the Mentally Challenged population to become familiar with materials. I thought that the dual function could confuse them, but went with the more likely possibility that they would do well transferring their knowledge of the deck to a new application while learning two concepts for the same subject matter.