Match-Up





by Becky Benoit

Becky is a supervisor and trainer at the Child Development Center, San Diego City Schools. She's in the slightly unusual situation of attending college at the same time as her daughter.

Instructional Objective The learner will be able to classify cards using rules associated with task level.


Learners/Context The learners are children ranging from age three to six attending child development centers.

Teachers and children will use the card game to reinforce skills ranging from level one to level 6 in classification. The card games are introduced to children at small group-time or individualized time when the teacher is working with the child during a one-to-one tutorial time.

Since it is possible to play the card game at different levels, the teacher can increase the challenge at the child's developmental level.


Rationale The card game is a fun way to reinforce classification skills. When played in small groups the children will learn from each other which is less threatening to the child than using the teacher directed activities where the child is expected to respond to questions.

This activity can become an extended activity played without the teacher once the children learn to play the game.


Rules There are 52 cards.

The object of the game is to classify cards using rules associated with the task level. The winning child must verbally describe winning hand.

Level 1- The learner will classify cards by one descriptive characteristic.

i.e. color (all cards are the same color)

Level 2- The learner will classify cards by more than one descriptive character. i.e. color and shape (These are all red circles.)

Level 3- The learner will classify cards by using term "not" (three cards are the same with at least one different)

i.e. All of these cards are blue but these two are not.

Level 4- The learner will classify cards by quantatative comparisons: "some" and "all". i.e. These are all shapes but some are circles.

(at least three must be the same)

Level 6- The learner will clasify cards using more than one descriptive characteristic using "and". i.e. These are blue squares and these are blue circles. (must have a match of 3 and two to win)

To play the game: 1. Choose a dealer . The teacher may want to deal the first time to demonstrate to the child what to do.

2. Shuffle the cards.

3. Dealer gives each child five cards. Turn one card face up and place it next to the remaining cards stacked in the deck in the center of the playing area.

4. The child to the right of the dealer goes first. They must take the face card or choose from the deck. They must give up one card, putting the card on top of the face card each time it is their play.

5. The next player can take the new face card or choose from the deck. Continue in this manner giving each child a turn.

6. Play until someone wins.

7. The child must make a match according to level playing. (levels 1 & 2- all cards match, levels 3, 4, 6 - 3 of a kind and 2 of a kind or 4 of a kind and 1 not a match. The child who completes matching set(s) first is the winner. They must have 0 cards left to win.


Card Design

There are 52 cards:

four different shapes - 8 each, 5 in one color and 3 in another color

Ten with animal pictures, 7 bears and 3 elephants

Ten flowers - 7 in one color and 3 in another color

Design Process Age of participants was my first consideration. Initially I was thinking of an adult audience using a card game to reinforce skills learned from training. Then I decided to design something for the children at the center where I am the administrator. I decided to make the audience general for use at any center with children.

The next consideration was content area. I wanted a progressive level of challenge that children seemed to enjoy doing even if they weren't playing a game. So, I chose classification. Children automatically begin to classify objects at a certain level of development so it wouldn't be a forced task which would make the game more enjoyable.

My difficulty was using the same deck of cards for each level. It was easy for levels 1, 2, and 3, but levels 4 and 6 could have changed decks by using more variety in card design. To keep it simple, I chose to use one deck of cards.

I chose not to use level 5 which is the discovery level for classification because I would need to change the format of the game so I left it out. The children would have to come up with this level in the game for themselves since they are to discover their own categories of classification matches.