Target: An Equations Game

Suggested Grades



Students will practice, subtracting, adding, multiplying, and dividing.


  • a deck of cards per pair of students


  • Ask students to get into pairs and give each pair a deck of cards.
  • Ask students to shuffle the cards and lay the first five face up in a row, then lay the rest of the deck at the end of the row and turn up the top card. This is the target card.
  • The pair then manipulates the numbers of the first five cards into an equation that will equal the target card. They can use all the cards or just two, but no card can be used twice (unless two of the same number turned up).
  • When a student comes up with an equation, they slap the target card and yell “Target!”. They then have to proceed by explaining the equation to their partner.
  • If the player is correct they can keep the cards that used in their equation. If the player is wrong, the other player can keep the cards used in the equation. The cards that aren’t used are placed at the bottom of the deck and the game continues until all the cards are used.
  • When the game is done, the players then add up all the values of their cards (Aces=1, Jacks=11, Queens=12, Kings=13). The player with the highest total wins.