Map Mania



by Camille Currier

Camille is an instructional designer for SWRL: Southwest Regional Educational Laboratory and has a twin.

Instructional Objective The player will learn the location of the seven regions of the continental United States by matching states to regions of the map.


Learners/Context The learners are fifth graders who have already learned the fifty states' names and locations of the states on the continental U.S. map. The game was designed for use in a classroom setting during social studies.


Rules There can be two, three, or four players.

The Deal Players pick someone to be the dealer. The dealer shuffles, checks the cards, and cuts the deck. The dealer deals five cards to each player, starting with the his or her left. If there are more than four players, they play with two decks. The dealer puts the remaining cards in a stack, (stock) face down. The dealer turns the top card over and places it (starter) face up next to the deck. If a "wild card" is the first card, the dealer buries it in the middle of the stock and turns the next card.

The Play Beginning with the player seated at the left of the dealer (eldest hand), each player in turn must place one card face up on the starter pile. If unable to play, a player must draw cards from the top of the stock until he or she can discard, or until the stock is gone. If unable to play when the stock is gone, a player passes his turn. A player may draw from the stock even when he or she cannot play. Each card played, (other than a "wild card"), must match the card showing on the starter pile. The cards must match either by the first letter of the state's name or by the region (color coded region initials).

For instance, yellow/PC (Pacific Coast states) can be played on other yellow cards. Tennessee can be played onto Texas to change suit (region) because the first letters of the states match. A wild card may be played at any time in turn to change the region. The following player must then play to suit or choose from the stock. When the stock is empty, players continue playing from hand. When either player can no longer discard, the player with the least amount of cards wins. If both players have the same amount of cards when the stock is empty, and neither player can play (discard), it's a draw.

Object of play The players try to get rid of all of the cards in their hands. The first player to do this, wins.


Card Design Card Back: Picture of Continental US map with seven region locations.

Card Front: White-faced card with color coded region; state name and shape on it.

Wild card: Plain card with "wild " written on it.

Regions and states * MA color coded orange on card = Middle Atlantic States: New

Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania.

* MW color coded blue on card = Midwestern states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin.

* NE color coded black on card = New England States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont

* PC color coded yellow on card = Pacific Coast states: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington

* RM color coded red on card = Rocky Mountain states: Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming

* S color coded green on card = Southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia

* SW color coded pink on card = Southwestern states: Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas


Deck Design 50 state cards, and 2 "wild cards".


Design Process The card game I liked best as a kid was "Crazy Eights". For this assignment, I wanted to use the "Crazy Eights" game rules and needed categories to carry the game through. To play this game, the learner can either discard by same region or same first letter of the state. I made the decision to use the the U.S. because a common deck of cards has 52 cards and the U.S. has 50 states.