Let's Play

K, 1, 2

This introduces the learners to a deck of playing cards, and teaches classification, taking turns, and clockwise movement.

PrintOne 30 minute class period

The learner will:

  • practice circular movement from right to left -- clockwise movement.
  • identify and classify objects by color.
  • define common game-playing vocabulary.
  • play a card game by established rules.
  • a large display clock
  • a variety of objects representing three or four different colors
  • one deck of playing cards for each group of four learners


  1. Anticipatory Set: Tell the class that today everyone is going to learn a new card game called Moving Clockwise. Tell them that in this game, they will take turns. Ask the students to name times they took turns when they were not playing a game (waiting in line for a drink, ordering at a restaurant, speaking in a conversation, etc.).Tell them that taking turns is a part of every culture and country in the world.Ask them why taking turns is an important skill in the "game of life." Talk about how taking turns helps others and ourselves. Ask the students, "Have you ever let someone else go before you even when it was your turn? Why did you do it? How did it make you feel?" Tell the students that allowing someone else to go ahead of you is good manners and kind, but while playing a game, players take turns in a certain order.

  2. Invite the learners to sit with you in a circle on the floor. Show them a large display clock. Have them say the numbers with you in order as they point toward the clock. Tell them to trace the direction of the numbers using their pointer fingers while moving their whole arms. Then have them name the hands of the clock (hour hand and minute hand). Ask a few students to come up to the clock (one at a time) to move the hands around the clock in the direction the hands always move.

  3. On the display clock, move the hands the wrong way. Ask "What would happen if clock hands moved the wrong way for a couple hours?" Listen to their responses, and say, "A clock that is wise (smart) always moves its hands this way." (Show them the correct direction.) This way is called clockwise.

  4. Then have everyone stand up in a big circle. Tell them to imagine that there is a giant clock on the floor in the middle of their circle. Have them walk in a circle in the direction that the hands move. Have everyone sit down again. Ask them if anyone can describe the direction they were moving (clockwise). Tell them that even if there isn't a clock, we can still move clockwise.

  5. Share with the learners that in most card games players take turns moving in a clockwise direction. Tell the students to draw a circle on the floor with their fingers to simulate the clockwise direction. (Check for understanding.)

  6. In the middle of the circle on the floor, display a variety of objects (representing three or four different colors).

  7. Tell the learners that you would like for them to help you group or sort these objects in some way. Have them offer ideas for sorting.

  8. Lead them to ultimately categorize the objects by their color. Name the groups by color.

  9. Move the learners into groups of four at separate tables (or desks pushed together). Give each group of four one deck of playing cards. Appoint one student in each group to be the deck holder, or dealer. The other students in the group can make sure the dealer is following directions.

  10. Show the two Jokers in your playing card deck and tell the dealers to remove these cards from their decks and set them aside for use at a later time. Tell the dealers to give each person in their group one card.

  11. Hold up a card and show the back of the card. Tell the learners that you are showing them the back of the card. Ask the students to show you the back of their cards. Turn the card around and identify the front of the card. The front of the card is also called the face of the card. Ask the students to show you the front, or face, of their cards.

  12. Have the dealers spread out their cards face-up where everyone in the group can see them. Have the students raise their hands to answer the following question: If I asked you to sort the cards by color, how many groups would there be (two)?

  13. Show the class how you "shuffle" the deck by putting the cards face-down and mixing them up gently. Then leave the cards face-down in the middle of the table while you explain the rules.

  14. Remind them how important rules are for a game and how important it is that everyone cooperates by following them.

  15. State the rules to Moving Clockwise:

    1. To start the game all the shuffled cards need to be face down/backs up, meaning that the colors on the fronts of the card cannot be seen.
    2. Each player in the group takes a turn to select a card and turn it face-up in front of himself or herself.
    3. The dealer begins, and then players take turns in a clockwise manner.
    4. The first person to collect five cards of the same color is declared the winner of this game.
  16. If appropriate, continue to play additional games to give each learner an opportunity to win the game.

  17. Allow time at the end of this lesson to reflect on all the vocabulary introduced so far, namely rules, cooperate, deck of playing cards, clockwise, the back and face of a card, shuffle, and Jokers. Discuss any observations about strategy or the fewest number of cards it took to win.


Teacher observation of student involvement in the activity and sharing

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark E.3 Describe a benefit of group cooperation.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark E.4 Demonstrate listening skills.
    3. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.2 Identify why rules are important and how not all behaviors are addressed by rules.