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Math Games
With Jane and Joanne

Make 20



Grades 1 - 3


  • numbers to 20
  • addition and subtraction to 20
  • odd/even


  • 2 - 4


  • Grades 1 - 2: playing cards Ace (= 1) through 5
  • Grades 2 - 3: playing cards Ace (= 1) through 9
  • paper and pencil


Each player makes a gameboard that looks like this:

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Each player begins the game at number 10 on their gameboard. The goal of the game is to get to 20 or 0.

Each player turns over one card from the deck of cards. That number determines the number of spaces the player can move on their gameboard.

  • If Player 1 draws an odd-numbered card, he must subtract and move backward from his current place on the gameboard. He must move back (left) the number of spaces indicated on the card.
  • If Player 2 draws an even-numbered card, she must add and move forward from her current place on the gameboard. She must move ahead (right) the same number of spaces indicated on the card.

The first player to reach a score of exactly 20 or zero is the winner.

Teachers can use this game to introduce the concepts of number lines and number lining.

Joanne Currah and Jane Felling have created two best-selling math game books -- Shuffling Into Math (for teachers of grades K-3) and All Hands on Deck (grades 1-9). Each book includes simple instructions for more than 100 math games that help children discover math concepts and reinforce math skills. Education World is pleased to present a selection of those activities in this series.

Click to learn more about these books and other exciting products and service from Joanne and Jane's Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks.

More About Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks

Joanne Currah and Jane Felling created their company, BOX CARS & ONE-EYED JACKS, for the sole purpose of making math fun -- not threatening or frustrating -- for children. Joanne and Jane spend many days each year on the road as they train teachers to make math fun for kids and run Family Math Nights at schools. To learn more about the authors, their books, and the services they provide, visit them at or email them at [email protected].

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