Sum Of 21

Students practice counting from 1-20 with a deck of cards.

Archived from Englipedia.
Originally submitted by Amy Yosh on Jun 23, 2010.


  • One deck of cards for every group of 4-5 students.


  • After separating students into groups of 4-5, hand each group a deck of trump cards and tell them to shuffle well and deal. Students do not look at the cards they are dealt.
  • The first person lays the top card from their pile in the centre of the table and says that number. The second person lays their card on top of the previous card and says the sum of the two numbers. Third person adds the value of their top card to the previous sum and on and on and on. (Aces are have a value of 1)
  • If a student lays down a face card or their card makes the total sum equal to or greater than 20, that student must take the entire pile of cards in the centre and add it to bottom of their personal pile of cards.
  • The winner of the game is the first person to have only face cards left.


  • I usually pick some other target number depending on the math ability of my students or the aim for the day.
  • Add in a 'Lucky Card' option. When a student puts a card down onto the deck and the card is the same number (not suit) as the card directly below it, the rest of the students in the group race to be the first person to slap the discard pile. The fastest student can then take one 'Lucky Card' from the top of their deck and throw it into the discard pile.


  • Consider the slow students during sum processes, time shouldn't be a big issue so everyone can have enough time to do their sums, keep in mind here is not a math class but an English.

Total 0

Estimated time: 15-30 min

Submitted by: Englipedia Archive

June 12, 2019


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