Lesson plan

Memory Game: St. Patrick's Day maths Edition

In this St. Patrick's Day lesson, your students will play the card game memory! Students will create their own cards using addition maths facts within 100 and apply different addition strategies to increase their fluency as they play.
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Students will be able to fluently add within 100 and describe the strategy they used to solve the addition maths facts.

(5 minutes)
  • Ask students if they know what holiday is celebrated around the world during March. You can give clues about things associated with this holiday (such as leprechauns, four leaf clovers, and pots of gold).
  • Support students to learn that March is when we celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
  • Ask students to share what they know about St. Patrick's Day.
  • Tell students that today we will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day by using some St. Patrick's Day-themed addition maths facts worksheets filled with lucky four leaf clovers. Explain to students that we will have some fun by using these facts to create our own cards to play the game of memory!
(5 minutes)
  • Project the St. Patrick's Day Addition #4 worksheet onto the board.
  • Tell students that this worksheet contains addition maths facts, and their job is to find the sum for each maths fact.
  • Remind students that the SumIs the total amount resulting from the addition of two or more numbers.
  • Call on a student to solve the first maths fact (16 + 16 = ____) and to share their strategy for finding the sum. For example, they might use strategies based upon place value (breaking apart or ungrouping numbers), properties of operations (compensation), or the relationship between addition and subtraction.
  • Continue solving the addition maths facts in the first row by calling on student volunteers to find the sum and share their strategy.
(15 minutes)
  • Distribute the St. Patrick's Day Addition #4 and St. Patrick's Day Addition #5 worksheets to each student, and provide students with time to complete these worksheets with a partner or in a small group.
  • Circulate around the room providing extra support, scratch paper, or manipulatives if necessary.
  • Come together as a group to share sums and address any questions or challenges.
  • Tell students that they have completed the first step in today's lesson by finding the sums to all of the addition maths facts.
  • Explain to students that the second step is to create their own memory cards.
  • Instruct students to make two cards for each addition maths fact. One card will have the equation (ie. 17 + 19) and the second card will have the sum (ie. 36).
  • Teach students to play the following version of memory:
    • Students will play in groups of two.
    • Shuffle the cards and lay them face-down in rows that form a large rectangle. Make sure the cards are not touching each other.
    • Tell students to decide which student will go first by playing a quick game of rock, paper, scissors.
    • The first player selects a card and turns it over. The player then selects another card. If the second card creates a matching equation and sum then the player keeps the two cards and goes again. If they don't get a match, then the player flips the cards back over and their partner gets a turn.
    • The game is over when all of the cards have been matched. The winner of the game is the player with the most matching pairs.
(25 minutes)
  • Place students in pairs.
  • Distribute three pages of blank white paper to each student, and model for students how to fold their paper so that it creates eight rectangles when unfolded.
  • Tell students that in their pairs, one of them will be making the cards using the equations and sums from the St. Patrick's Day Addition #4 worksheet, and one of them will be making the cards using the equations and sums from the St. Patrick's Day Addition #5 worksheet.
  • Instruct students to cut out each rectangle and write the equation on one card and the matching sum on the other card.
  • Once cut out, tell students to shuffle their cards with their partner's cards and start playing memory.


  • Model more examples of how to solve the addition maths facts using different strategies during the Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling section.
  • Provide students with manipulatives (e.g. unifix cubes or counters) to assist them with the addition maths facts during Guided practise/Modeling.
  • Distribute two different colors of paper to students during Independent Work Time. Tell students to write the equations on one colour of paper and the sums on the other colour of paper so that when they are playing memory they will know which cards contain equations and which cards contain sums.
  • Have students play with one set of cards at a time, rather than shuffling cards with their partner.


  • Challenge students to create memory cards using subtraction maths facts within 100 or multiplication maths facts (see optional worksheets). Then group together students needing an extra challenge so that all of their cards contain more challenging subtraction or multiplication maths facts.
  • Increase the number of cards students are playing with to make the game more challenging. Students can create their own addition maths facts within 100 or they can create cards from one of the subtraction or multiplication worksheets.
(5 minutes)
  • Distribute whiteboards to each student.
  • Write an addition maths fact on the board, and tell your students to solve the equation on their whiteboards.
  • Tell students to hold up their whiteboards after solving the equation so that you can check their work and see which strategy they used to solve the equation.
  • Continue with at least five addition maths facts within 100.
(5 minutes)
  • Explain to students that today we have been talking about different strategies we use to solve addition maths facts.
  • Tell students that we use different strategies in our everyday lives, whether we are working or having fun.
  • Ask students to share some of the strategies they used while they were playing memory (for example, paying close attention when their partner flips over cards).
  • Ask students to think about whether this is a game of strategy or a game of luck.

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