Activity 3J: Memory Games

Play "Memory" game with decks of playing cards. Students will play game in pairs. Each pair of students will receive 26 cards, with 13 matched pairs. A matched pair would consist of an ace of spades with an ace of clubs or the four of diamonds with the four of hearts, a red card with a red card or a black card with a black card. The teacher or students can combine several decks into sets of 13 matched pairs. A class of 20 students would require 5 decks of cards.
Students will shuffle sets and place face down in a square configuration. The first student draws two cards, observes the cards, and flips them back face-down. The other student draws two cards, attempting to make a match. When a match is made, the match is put aside. Continue making attempts and taking turns until all cards are matched. During play, students will keep a T-chart of incorrect to correct responses. Total all responses when all matches are completed.
  • What is the ratio of correct to incorrect matchings (mini-lesson on ratio)?
  • How were you able to find the matching cards? Did it get harder or easier to find matches during the game?
  • As you continued the game, how did the ratio of correct to incorrect matchings change?
  • Which teams had the highest number of correct responses? Were these teams just lucky, or did they develop a technique or strategy?

Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox. Kane/Miller Book Publishers, Brooklyn, New York, 1985.


Memory - from the Exploratorium. Explores the biological, psychological, and cultural aspects of memory, from personal experiences to breakthroughs in cognitive science. http://www.exploratorium.edu/memory/


Memory, t chart, memory game

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Activity Code: 
Unit Reference: 
It's All in Your Mind
Lesson Reference: 
Lesson 3: Memory