Primary/Junior (Age 6 – 12)

Curriculum Goal

Primary: Number Sense

  • Use the properties of addition and subtraction, and the relationships between addition and multiplication and between subtraction and division, to solve problems and check calculations.

Junior : Number Sense

  • Use the properties of operations, and the relationships between addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, to solve problems involving whole numbers, including those requiring more than one operation, and check calculations.


  • 2-4 students and the teacher will be sitting on the carpet in a circle or on a video conference chat.​
  • Students should have previous experience with adding and subtracting.


In-person version

  • 1 standard 52-card deck with jokers removed

Online version


  • The goal of the game is to keep the cumulative total under 99 until the deck runs out.​
  • Each card represents its face value (e.g., 5 is 5) and Jack and Queen represent 10 in points.
  • Exceptions:​
    • 4 reverses the play.
    • 9 is a pass.​
    • 10 subtracts 10 points from the total.​
    • King takes the point total to 99 (or keeps it at 99 if the total is already 99).​
  • To set up the game the dealer deals out 3 cards to each player.​
  • On their turn, each player places one of their cards face up in the middle of the circle or on the online gameboard and takes another from the deck. Each player must always have 3 cards in their hand.​
  • The laid card adds to the total and the player announces the new sum to the group.​
  • The game ends when the deck runs out or the players go over 99.

Look Fors

  • How fluently can the children calculate the total sum or difference?
  • How do children use addition and subtraction skills when determining the point total?
  • How do children check to make sure that their calculations are correct?

Related Lessons

A possible extension, students use addition skills in a competitive activity with cards.

Students work as a team to remove all the cards in the pyramid using addition or subtraction.

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