Before we had smart phones and iPods many of us remember playing cards when waiting any length of time with a group. Sometimes it is good to look at the old traditional card games because there is a reason why they had staying power. Children still like playing them. Card games such as Go Fish, Rummy, Old Maid, Crazy 8 and UNO can meet a lot of different therapy needs as well as provide a recreational activity for disabled students to mix with non disabled students. You may remember we used a game of UNO in our “Circle of Friends Group” to work with a student who performed on academic grade level but was severely impacted socially by Autism. http://cjmonty.wordpress.com/category/circle-of-friends/.
Card games have the advantage of engaging a number of students of different ability levels within a structure. They provide lots of opportunity for modeling by peers in predictable interactions. The use of card games provides a training ground to reinforce social skills some students need to develop in order to participate in a group and have a conversation. It also allows the peer group to interact with a disable student and see them as a person they can develop a friendship and play with.
Our high needs students benefit from some preparation such as communication boards, video modeling and visual cue cards. Many of my students I work with in the Life skills Programs are working on skills such as maintaining focus with a group, staying on topic, realizing their turn, the turn of others, perspectives of others, and appropriate emotional control with unexpected events. In addition, they may be working on vocabulary and following directions.
I have collected free downloads of some traditional card games. I hope this will make it easier for some of your planning for next school year. Some of these have the advantage of using specific themed vocabulary.
There are some creative variations on the internet. However this particular game is under copyright so I didn’t feel I could post them. The regular game is very useful for working on following directions.
This is a board that is a tech speak overlay but I just use the board without the device for my less verbal students. http://www.boardmakershare.com/Activities/Search?SearchText=uno
I have used cards that come in pairs such as opposite cards, and plurals. Just add a blank card that does not match with the others for the old maid.
I Have, Who Has
This is a fairly recent card game that seems to have a lot of potential for small groups. Students need to maintain focus to stay with the group and participate.
Animals created by Ashley Hughes
Food by Ashley Hughes
Winter vocabulary by Kindergarten Squared
Synonyms by Dee Bibb
Halloween Vocabulary by Mandy Neal
Back to School Vocabulary by Simply Speech
http://www.boardmakershare.com/Activity/1729317/Go-Fish-Cue-Card communication board
http://bogglesworldesl.com/cards.htm (a variety of flash cards for vocabulary building.)
If you need help remembering the rules this is a good place to look them up.