Sum of the Group

Type of Activity:  Problem-Solving

Idea from:  Richard McGraw

Source:  Playing With A Full Deck, by Michelle Cummings, also in The Possiblesbag Teambuilding Kit  Activity Manual, Chris Cavert

Props Needed:  playing cards, one per participant

Group Size:  You will need at least 12 players for this one.

Playing the Game:

This one is a bit like Get 20.

Remove the face cards from the Deck and spread out the numbered Cards (Aces are the ones) face up on the ground.  Divide your group into teams of 3 or 4 and tell them that you will shout out a number, and then say, “Go!”  After some possible planning, each group member goes to pick up a number (or 2 if allowed) so that when they either add, subtract, multiply, or divide their numbers they get the number shouted out.  Even though you do not mention any competitive aspect of the game, it will most likely show up to talk about.  After each team shares their equation with the group, players return their Cards to the circle and another number is called.

NOTE:  Spread the Cards out enough so that players have room to move around without stepping on the Cards.

Possibilities:  You might limit the equation to only one sign like only adding, subtracting or  multiplying.  Keep in mind, 2 Cards can be put together to represent one number—the 2 and 4 can be put together to make 24 or 42.

Debriefing topics:

  • How successful do you think you were at this activity?
  • How did your group work together to be successful?
  • How did your group communicate?


Learning styles utilized from the 7 Kinds of Smart:  ~picture smart, logic smart, body smart

Purchase from the Training Wheels store:  Playing With a Full Deck, Jumbo Playing Cards, Colossal Playing Cards, Mini Playing Cards, Round Playing Cards

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