There are 36 cards with a picture on one side and a description on the back. Shuffle the cards. The first player takes the top card and, taking care to avoid showing either side of the card to the other players,  describes the image giving clear instructions for the other players to draw the image. Players can ask questions which the narrator must answer. When the players decide to stop drawing and talk, the card is shown to everyone. All the players then show their drawings and talk about the patterns, shapes and mathematical ideas that they see in the picture.

This is not a competitive game and drawing is just to get everyone involved in thinking about the picture and what it depicts but, if the group agrees, players can give the narrator a mark out of 10 for his or her description, and the narrator can give the other players a mark out of 10 for their drawings. The players will be able to visualise more detail in the pictures each time they play the game.

This is a good game for large gatherings.  Players don’t need to spend long drawing unless they want to. Every card has a story to tell. Talking about what different players see in the pictures will uncover some of the story. Following up on the notes on the reverse side of the card, and studying more mathematics, will uncover more. Mathematics is not just about numbers!

Click here to download the cards to print, cut out and use to play the game.

BRING YOUR OWN PICTURE People could look for interesting pictures that tell a mathematical story, write their own notes about the picture from what they see and what they can discover, and use these pictures for the game.

This is a new game invented, by Alan and Toni Beardon, to be published by Tarquin in the book Let’s Play Mathematically AIMSSEC Family Games.


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