Leonardo



by Stephanie Stout

Stephanie is working on her master's degree in educational technology. She is currently working for a government contract company as a scriptwriter. She enjoys creative writing and studying art history.

Instructional Objective Art history students will classify paintings by period or artist. Using a card showing a piece of art, students will match it to another card with a picture of the same period or artist.


Learners/Context The learners are college students who are taking a course in art history. They have studied at least four periods of art. This game also can be played by people interested in art history as a hobby. It also can be modified for younger children. Students will use this game to prepare for an exam. These students will have already studied the periods of art on the cards. Students will use this game to practice classifying art.


Rationale Learning different pieces of art by memorization is the traditional way. A card game will add fun to the memorization process. This card game will aid students in their classification skills. It also will be a way for students to discuss art with their peers. By seeing the art throughout the game, they may recognize characteristics they had not noticed before or make new associations in their memory.


Rules The game follows the format of the card game "UNO."

Number of Players Three to ten players may participate. The optimum group size is five.

Card Content Each card will contain a picture of a piece of art from one of four periods. Students will use cards from periods that are close together in time and style. The following periods could be used: Realism, Cubism, Impressionism, and Surrealism. Each card has an ID number that students may use at certain times to find information about the picture.

Game Playing One student deals seven cards to each.player. The rest go into a pile. The student who is dealing flips over the top card. Students then match the card with one in their hand. The card they lay done must be either of the same period or of the same artist. If they cannot lay down a card, they must draw a card from the pile. Students can only draw four cards in one turn. When a player has only one card left, then he or she must yell out "Leonardo." If they do not, they must draw two cards. Students must classify the picture to lay it down.

Challenges If a student lays down a card and another student thinks it is not from the same artist or period that student may call a challenge. The student challenging will look up the card's ID number on an information sheet. The losing student must draw three cards.

Special Cards Students also have special cards. There are four types of cards: DRAW TWO, REVERSE, SKIP, and WILD CARD. If the student lays down a WILD CARD, he or she can change the card to any period they want. The next student must lay down a card of that period. The player who draws the DRAW TWO card can avoid drawing two by naming the piece of art shown on the next two cards in the pile. If they fail they must keep both of them. A trustworthy member of the group will check the information sheet to make sure the player is right. REVERSE cards reverse the order of play. SKIP cards require the next player to lose a turn.

Information Sheet Since the cards only contain the picture of the work of art, there is an information sheet to provide backup information. Each card will be listed on the information sheet by its ID number. By the ID number will be the name of the artist, the period the work is from, the year the work was produced, and the point value of the card.

Strategies As a strategy, players will try to get rid of wild cards first. They are worth the most points. Each wild card is worth fifty points. Players will then try to recognize the most recent works.

Scoring To win, the player must get rid of all cards in his or her hand. Point values for the cards will be higher for the most recent works.

Adapted Version Younger students wishing to use the card sets could would use groups of cards with a greater difference such as: Roman, Modern, Baroque, Egyptian. These cards would feature architecture and sculpture instead of just paintings. They would match by category only.


Card Design The regular cards will feature one work of art. The only other information on the front of the card is the ID number.

The top figures show an example of the front and back of a regular playing card. The bottom figures show the front and back of a WILD card.


Deck Design For an art history course, the deck will consist of twenty sets of cards. Each set will be from a different period. Only four sets will be in use at a single time. Each period will have three artists representing it. There will be three or four works from each artist. The deck will have twelve wild cards.


Design Process Originally, I wanted to design a card game using Mendel's theories of genetics. I wanted to use the "Rummy" format but I could not come up with feasible card designs. When designing "Leonardo - Art Through the Ages," I wanted to include the artist or the name of the painting on the card. But, I felt this would turn the game into just a matching game. Users would not develop classification skills. I then left the cards blank except the for picture. Students will have to look at the picture and classify to take a turn.