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Math Games
With Jane and Joanne

Multiplication Fish



Grades 2 - 3


  • beginning multiplication facts to 16


  • 2 - 4


  • deck of playing cards, Jokers removed; Jack = 12, Queen = 14, and King = 16
  • a
  • multiplication table to during the game (if needed)


Deal five cards to each player. The remaining cards are placed face down in a deck, which is placed in the middle of the playing area. The object of this game is for players to collect pairs of cards with the same number (value) on them. They will search for cards with numbers that match numbers they already hold in their own hands. If any player gets a matched set of cards among the five cards dealt at the start of the game, that player places the matched cards down on the table in front of themselves.

Players alternate turns as they ask another player if she or he has a certain card in their hand. Players ask their questions in the form of a multiplication question.

  • Do you have any 2 x 5's (10's)?
  • Do you have any 3 x 2's (6's)?
  • Do you have any 7 x 1's (7's)?
If the player asks Do you have any 2 x 5's? to a player who has a 10 in his hand, that player must give up his 10 to the player who asked the question. The player who asked the question now has a pair of 10's. She puts them down in front of herself.

Each player may continue asking questions until they are unsuccessful in finding a match. If a player does not have the number asked for, she says "Fish" and the player asking the question takes a card from the top of the deck. If that card results in a match, he puts down the matched set in front of himself. If there is no match, he keeps the card in his hand and the next player takes her turn.

Play continues until one player is out of cards. Players count up their pairs. The player with the most pairs is the winner.

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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