Making 10's with Cards

First Grade Math Lesson Plans


Materials required:

A deck of standard playing cards with the 10's and face cards removed, leaving 36 cards, four each from 1 to 9. Index cards can also be used - write 1 on four cards, 2 on four more, etc., and draw the corresponding number of shapes, for instance, triangles. Having different suits is not important.

Introduction - use cards to show addition:

  1. Pick out two cards, pointing out the numeral and counting out the corresponding number of objects (hearts, spades, diamonds or clubs).
  2. Write the two numbers with a + sign between and an = after, for example: 2 + 6 =
  3. Have the group count out loud the objects on both cards to determine the sum. Then write it, for example: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8; 2 + 6 = 8

Activity - play a group matching game:

  1. Deal one card to each child. Keep any remaining cards handy. Explain that students will now take turns trying to find cards that add up to 10.
  2. Each child, in turn, stands up, holds up his or her card and says its number. Everybody else checks their own card.
  3. If a child thinks that his or her card and the first child's card will add to 10, the child should stand and join the first player. The two children count to make sure that the sum is 10 and if it is they sit down together.
  4. As soon as a pair that makes 10 is determined, any other children who have come forward with a possible match sit down again.
  5. If no student comes forward with a possible match, the group can check each other's cards in case a match has been missed. If no match is found, the card is put on the bottom of the deck, and the child picks a new card and sits down.
  6. The next child should then take his or her turn in the same way.
  7. When everyone has been paired up, end the game by having each pair write their sum on the board.

Activity - teach and play a Make 10 Solitaire game:

  1. Show the children how to make a 16 card Make 10 deck from the previous deck by taking four of one number (for example, the four 2's), four of the number that makes 10 (the four 8's), then four of another number (say, four 4's) and the four cards that make 10 (the four 6's). So a typical deck might be: four each of 2, 4, 6 and 8. A deck with four each of 1, 2, 8 and 9 would work just as well. You will need more decks if your group is large.
  2. Shuffle the deck. Lay out a 10 card pyramid and 3 cards on each side:
    All cards should be face up (numerals showing).
  3. To play, match up two cards that add to 10 and remove them. The game ends when no more pairs can be made.
  4. There is one more rule: you can only match up completely uncovered or "open" cards. In the picture, the white cards are open cards. Any two cards in those positions that add to 10 can be removed.
  5. As cards are removed, they may uncover more cards that can be matched. In the picture, if the two white cards with * are removed, then the shaded card with * is uncovered and it becomes eligible for matching.
  6. If the rules are unclear, play the interactive Make 10 (<-- pick the title to play). You may also want the children to play the online Make 10, because it will check that the pairs add to 10.
  7. Play a complete game, pointing out that sometimes all the cards can be removed and sometimes they can't. Then have the students pair up, create their own 16 card decks, and play a round or two.
  8. Suggest that they can play at home if they have a deck of cards.