Shape Shuffle





by Louise Russell

Louise is a destructional designer whose tennis swing is as wild and individual as her design drafts. She currently works at MediaShare.

Instructional Objective The fifth or sixth grade student will be able to match plane figures and space figures by their figure illustration, word name, written description, and a photograph of an actual object with the related plane or space figure.

The plane figures include a square, circle, rectangle, triangle, pentagon, hexagon, and octagon.

The space figures include a cube, sphere, rectangular prism, triangular prism, cone, and cylinder.


Learners/Context The learners are fifth to sixth grade students, 9 to 12 years old, with a range of academic abilities.

The game will be part of a classroom geometry unit. Use of the card game will come after:

* Whole class instruction on the various figures.

* Manipulative experience with the figures.

* Worksheet practice on identifying the name and characteristics of the various plane and space figures represented in the card game.


Rationale The card game serves as further practice or remediation for particular students. It provides an interactive means of practicing these figures instead of more worksheets. The competition factor should enhance students' motivation and ease learning the content.

The instructional objective fits the rummy card structure, grouping 2, 3, or 4 related figure cards. As most children know how to play rummy, they need little time for learning the rules to Shape Shuffle.

This game is easily reproducible on a photocopier and can be laminiated before cutting. The whole class could be playing it in small groups, or one group could play it while other learning groups work with other materials or content.

Rules These are the rules:

Number of players Two to four players

Materials needed Deck of Shape Shuffle, 56 cards

Card holder tray ( similar to a Scrabble tray, but to hold the cards so the player can see the face of each of his or her cards)

1. The dealer deals ten cards to each player, starting with the player to the his or her left. The dealer puts the remaining cards in a stack, face down and turns the top card over, face up next to the deck.

2. Each player arranges his or her cards in an attempt to categorize using the four types of cards for each figure:

* Name card.

* Figure illustration card.

* Description card.

* Photograph of object with the figure card.

3. Starting with the player to the dealer's left, each player either picks up the top card from the deck or the face upcard next to the deck. She or he then discards one card and places it face up on the discard pile so there are always ten cards in hand or tray.

4. Play continues until the first player who has Shape Shuffle goes out. To go out a player must have at least one 4 of a kind, either two more 3 of a kind, or another 4 of a kind and a 2 of a kind. These kinds are as follows:

* 4 of a kind = one of each type of card for the specific figure, or 3 of these cards and a wild card.

* 3 of a kind = any three of the cards for a specific figure, or 2 of the cards and a wild card.

* 2 of a kind = any two of the cards for a specific figure. A wild card may not be used to make 2 of a kind.

5. A player who has Shape Shuffle gets 50 points, plus 25 bonus points if she or he has two 4 of a kind.

6. The remaining players show their hands. They group their cards into cards of a kind and put them down, face up. They score their hands as follows:

* 4 of a kind = 20 points

* 3 of a kind = 10 points

* 2 of a kind = 5 points

They do not subtract points for unused, "extra" cards.

7. Play continues until the first player reaches a score of 200 points.

Card Design

The cards will be laminated card that is stiff enough to stand up in the card holder.


Deck Design Each thirteen plane and space figures identified in the instructional objective will have the four different types of cards identified in the rules. There also will be 4 wild cards in the deck, making a total of 56 cards.


Design Process My design process began with selection of the content, identification of the learner group, and instructional objective. Next I made brief notes following what is a `natural' way for me to proceed:

* Played with the idea of names.

* Determined the game's purpose.

* Picked the structure

* Considered ways to be sure the game couldn't be played purely for recreation, but would require learners to think and use the concept or skill previously taught and practiced.

* Then I picked the figures to be included and listed the different types of cards.

I decided to deal ten cards so students have practice with at least three different figures. After this I plugged my note information into your headings, while cross referencing my game design class notes and the Ellington readings as a check and for further information. I can't say I threw any ideas out, just refined ideas to make the game as `elegant' as possible. I was thinking of having two of each type of card to give them more opportunity to make 4 of a kind, etc. Yet, this required more complex rules, about not having two identical cards as part of a kind, not having the same figure for more than one kind, etc.

Wanna' play?