Donkey Number Bonds
Here's another versatile little number bond Maths game. You don't need many teaching resources, a handful of counters and a pack of number cards.
The game is related to the children's card game 'Donkey' (aka Old Maid). In that game the children have a set of cards each of which has a matching pair except for one (the Donkey card).
In our version all of the players have a set of number cards and they need to find a matching number card that makes 10.
The aim of the game is to find matching pairs of cards that total 10, and not to be left with an 'odd' card; here's how it works.
Everyone has three counters at the beginning of the game - these are points, a point is lost in each game.
You need a set of 0 - 10 number cards. The cards are shuffled and dealt out between the players. The players look at their cards but do not allow anyone else to see them. The person who dealt the cards starts, he looks at his cards searching for pairs that add to 10. If he finds a pair he puts the cards face up on the table.
Next he holds out his remaining cards in a fan to the person on his right.
This player chooses any card (without looking at it) from the dealers set. Now, she looks at her set of cards, if there is a pair that adds to 10 she places these down on the table...
...fans the rest of the cards and lets the next person on his right select one.
Play continues like this.
At the end of the game there will be only one card left. This is the Donkey card since it has no partner. The person with that card looses a point and must put one of his counters away.
This is the end of the first round. The cards are now shuffled an another player is the dealer. The children continue playing until one of them has used up all of their counters.
With the cards 0 - 10, all but one will have a complimentary number to make 10. The 5 has no 'partner' and is the Donkey card. It is interesting to see if children notice that the same number is left each time they play. It is equally interesting to see if they can explain why this happens!
Clearly, this game can be adapted to work with other number bonds. Bonds to 20 work well because there are more cards in play.
Some other teaching points to encourage children to think about:
- Will the game work with number bonds to 5 (using the numbers 0 - 5)?
- Will it work with bonds to 25 (using 0 - 25)?
When children are used to playing the game, the term 'Donkey number' could be used as a fun way to explore addition properties.
- With all of the numbers 0 to 6, what is the Donkey number - the one without a partner?
- What about the numbers 0 to 100?
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