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The Math Game


--All Skills



Brief Description

In the Oink! card game, students aim to hog" all the cards as they practice math skills.


Students will

  • practice a wide variety of math skills as they follow the rules of the game.


math game, Oink!, pig

Materials Needed

  • half-pint milk or juice containers (clean and dry)
  • pink tempera paint or pink construction paper
  • a pig face, drawn or glued; you might use your favorite search engine to find a pig coloring page" from which you can use the image of the face sample)
  • hole-puncher
  • pink pipe cleaners
  • 3- x 5-inch index cards

Lesson Plan

This fun game can be used throughout the school year to reinforce a wide variety of math skills.

Use the instructions below to create a handful of pig containers. In this way, you can set up the game so five or six small teams of kids can play at the same time.

Alternatively, you might have every child create his/her own pig container. Once children learn to play the game, you can send each child home with his/her own Oink! game so they can practice/reinforce math skills at home with parents and siblings.
Create a Pig Container
  • Collect half-pint milk or juice containers. Be sure the containers are clean and dry.
  • Cut off the top of each container so you are left with a simple box" container about 3-inches square and 2 inches high.
  • Use pink tempera paint to paint the outside of the container, or cover the outside of the container with pink construction paper.
  • Create or cut out a pig face to glue to the front of the container. You might use your favorite search engine to find images of a pig coloring page," such as this one.
  • Punch a small hole in the back of the container and poke a pink pipe cleaner through the hole. Bend or knot a short end of the pipe cleaner inside the container to keep it from slipping back through the hole; then shape the long part of the pipe cleaner to create a cute, curly pigs tail outside the back end of the box.

    Create Game Cards
    Cut 3- x 5-inch index cards in half to create game cards that are about 2-1/2 inches square in size. Make enough cards so that each pig container can hold at least 25-30 cards, stacked upside-down. Write on each card a math problem that reinforces the skill you are teaching. The cards can be used to reinforce any math skill -- from practicing math facts to solving equations, from adding fractions to subtracting 3-digit numbers. You might even cut math word problems from a workbook or printable page and paste them onto the game cards.

    For every 10-15 cards you create, be sure to include one randomly placed card that has on it a pig face (such as this one) and the printed word Oink!
    Playing the Game
    Now youre set to play the game! Arrange students into groups and provide each group with its own Oink! container and game cards.
    At the start of the game, you might gather students around one group in order to demonstrate how to play.
    Choose a student to start the game. That student will pick a card from the Oink! container, share it with the group, and solve the problem written on it. Others in the group will have to solve the problem too, because they will need to verify that the answer given is correct. If the other group members verify the player has given the correct answer, that player will keep the card and pass the container to the next person (moving the game in a clockwise direction). If the group decides the given answer is incorrect, then the player must place the card at the bottom of the stack of cards in the Oink! container.

    Continue play in this way until someone draws an Oink! card from the container. The Oink! card is a special card. It allows the person who draws it gets to collect, or hog," all the cards that anyone in the group has collected until that point.

    The person holding all those cards will feel pretty comfortable -- until the next Oink! card is drawn and that person loses all the cards she/he is holding.
    Alternate Games
  • Lose a turn. Instead of treating the Oink! card as a wild card that earns the player all the other players cards, change the rules so the Oink! card is treated as a lose a turn" card.
  • Time the game. Set a timer for 5 minutes. How many times will students pass around the pig before time runs out? Who has the most cards at the end of the allotted time?

    Connecting School and Home
    Students can make individual pigs so they can take home their Oink! games and practice their math skills with parents or siblings. Each week you might send home several printable pages with a variety of math problems on them. Students can cut up the printable sheets and use them as the game cards when they play at home. Be sure to include at least one Oink! card on each printable page.

    Adapt the Game
    Oink! is not just a math game. This is an easy game to adapt for any other subject and any skill.


    This game is more luck than skill, but students will know how successful they are at the skills being practiced based on feedback from their team members as they play.

    Lesson Plan Source

    Submitted By

    Gary Hopkins

    National Standards

    GRADES Pre-K - 12
    This game can be adapted to reinforce skills in the following areas of the Math National Standards: Number and Operations, Algebra, Geometry, Measurement, Data Analysis and Probability, and Problem Solving.

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