What is Capture?
Capture is an old, very basic card game for two players. Sometimes it’s also called “war.” It’s a comparing game that can be used to practice just about any value- based concept in math. If you can compare two things and find which is bigger/ greater, you can create a capture game for that concept.
Why use capture games in math?
I love using capture games in my classroom, especially for math games. The rules are simple and the same rules can be used for any capture game. The only materials needed are cards that the students can compare. (I usually cut index cards in half and write on the blank side.) Capture games are easy to differentiate just by switching up the cards- swap out easier cards for harder ones as the students build their skills, or change the harder cards for easier ones to support students who need more practice. If you make your card decks so that each card has a matching pair, then the cards can double as memory game cards (where you place all the cards face down and try to match them up one pair at a time). Management-wise, capture games are great for early finishers. The game can be over and a winner declared whenever time is up.
How to play Capture:
(for 2 players)
1. Split the deck of cards in half.
2. Each player takes their half and stacks it face down next to them.
3. For each round, each player turns over their top card and places it face up in the middle.
4. The players compare the cards and the player with the card of greater value wins that round.
5. The winner of that round takes both cards and places them at the bottom of their deck.
6. Play continues until time is up or one player has collected all of the cards. If time is up, the winner is the player with more cards in their deck.
7. If there is a tie- both players turn over a card of equal value- then each player turns over a second card. The player who now has the higher value card collects all four cards and places them at the bottom of their deck.
Ideas for Common Core- Aligned Capture Games:
-K.CC.3: use numbers 0-20 and picture representations of numbers 0-20
-K.CC.5: use pictures of up to 20 objects in a line/ array/ circle, and up to 10 scattered objects
-K.CC.6: comparing the number of objects in a group
-K.CC.7: comparing written numbers up to ten
-K.OA.5: use addition/ subtraction expressions within 5
-K.MD.2: use cards with lines of different lengths
-1.OA.6: use addition/ subtraction expressions within 20
-1.OA.8: use addition/ subtraction equations with unknowns- the card with the greater unknown wins the round
-1.NBT.3: compare two digit numbers
-1.NBT.5: use cards that have expressions of two digit numbers plus or minus 10.
-2.OA.2: use addition/ subtraction expressions within 20.
-2.OA.4: use pictures of arrays up to 5 by 5
-2.NBT.4: compare three digit numbers
-2.NBT.8: use cards with expressions of numbers 100-900 and +/- 10 or 100
-2.MD.8: use cards with money amounts- dollar bills, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies
-2.G.1: use cards with polygons and compare the number of sides.
-2.G.2: use cards with pictures of partitioned rectangles, and students compare the total number of squares
-3.OA.4: use multiplication/ division equations with unknowns- the card with the greater unknown wins the round
-3.OA.7: use cards with multiplication facts up to 9 x 9, and/ or include division facts (You can get ready-made array cards here!)
-3.NBT.3: use cards with multiplication expressions that have a single digit number and a multiple of 10 (10-90)
-3.NF.3d: compare fractions with the same numerator (one set of cards) or compare fractions with the same denominator (a different set of cards)
-3.MD.6: use pictures of partitioned rectangles and compare the number of unit squares
-3.MD.7: use pictures of rectangles with length and width labeled and compare the area (Get a FREE version of this game here)
-3.MD.8: use pictures of polygons with the sides labeled and compare the perimeters
-4.OA.4: use cards with whole numbers- the number with more factors wins that round
-4.NBT.2: compare multi-digit numbers
-4.NBT.4: multi-digit addition and subtraction problems (good for estimating/ checking reasonableness!)
-4.NF.2: comparing fractions
-4.NF.5: use cards with fractions that have denominators of 10 and 100
-4.NF.6: use cards with fractions that have denominators of 10 or 100 and decimals in the tenths or hundredth place
-4.NF.7: comparing decimals to the hundredths place (Get a FREE version of this game here.)
-4.MD.1: create card decks for various measurement systems (eg., using inches, feet, and yards)
-4.MD.3: comparing areas or perimeters of rectangles (Get a FREE version of this game here)
-4.MD.6: comparing measurements of angles
-5.OA.1: use cards with expressions for students to solve
-5.NBT.3: compare decimals to the thousandths place (Get a FREE version of this game here.)
-5.MD.1: comparing metric measurements of length
-5.MD.5: compare volumes of rectangular prisms
Happy Teaching (with Capture Games)!!