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Thinking & Reasoning Skills

CO-OP SET

This version requires all players to work together as a team. It can be played by one person or with a team of any size. SETs are made according to the standard rules.

Object To obtain the maximum number of SETs in each layout of twelve cards, so as to achieve the maximum number of points as a team. Players work towards increasing their team or personal best score. In a classroom or group with several teams, the team with the highest score wins!

Download Printable Instructions Here

SET Skill Connections

SET is the award winning puzzle game that is truly a challenge for the whole class. Students ages six through college can challenge one another – age and experience are not advantages because SET draws on fundamental thinking processes.

Promoting Strategic Thinking Skills in Middle-School Students Using Set: The Family Game of Visual Perception®


Sylvia Sykes
Holy Names University, Oakland, CA

Quiddler Skill Connections

Playing QUIDDLER is so much fun that your students won’t notice they’re learning. Spelling skills sharpen quickly. After each round the words used are immediately seen by all players, and quickly learned. In cooperative play mode, after someone goes out, all players help those remaining to maximize their points. This enables all players to see how to make the combinations, increasing vocabulary as they go. Because of the short word bonus, learning two, three and four letter words becomes a natural goal of all players. As players try the make words with the highest point value, they are constantly adding up their points again and again during each round, as they do publicly after each round. Math is a natural aspect of playing QUIDDLER. 

FIVE CROWNS Skills Connections

FIVE CROWNS shares the look and feel of classical card games, but is a challenge in critical thinking. Students almost immediately see it as fun. The game is designed so that there is a high probability that each player will have the cards necessary to form the combinations they need to go out, and thus catch their opponents with points. However, the students must recognize all the possible combinations their hands allow them to make, and choose to keep the cards that give them the greatest chance of making combinations, when they draw and discard, in order to win. FIVE CROWNS is different from traditional card games in which one player’s dominant position is often determined by the deal. 

SET CUBED Skill Connections

SET CUBED looks and plays very differently from the highly awarded game SET. Students of different levels can challenge one another as play invokes fundamental thinking processes. Play is simple; to start, place all the dice into the cloth bag and shake it. Each player reaches into the bag and blindly grabs 5 dice. All players then roll their dice simultaneously, the first person to see a SET within their dice calls “SET” and plays his or her dice on the logo in the middle of the board. 

XACTIKA Skill Connections

XACTIKA is an original card game, with three ways to play. Students can PLAY TO WIN: take the most tricks, high score wins. Or they can PLAY TO LOSE: take the fewest tricks, low score wins. Or PLAY TO BID, where the student must win exactly the number of tricks he/she bid (hence the name XACTIKA).

The three ways to play all teach critical thinking, math skills, and social and personal skills; however each way to play emphasizes different skills:

  • When students PLAY TO WIN, they must understand how to play each card so it has the highest probability of winning.
  • When they PLAY TO LOSE, students must understand the inverse of the rule and play each card so it has the highest probability of losing.
  • When students PLAY TO BID, XACTIKA challenges and builds their ability to estimate the outcome of a series of processes. Each student must evaluate the probability of being in a position to take other players’ cards that are laid down each round, based on the cards in his or her hand. The game is designed such that cards that appear to be likely to take a trick initially may become less likely to take a trick as cards are played and those cards that do not initially appear likely to take a trick, may now be viable to do so. Developing the ability to correctly bid their hands involves analytical reasoning and following the evolution of the play develops patterning skills. Students must recognize the value of their hand, not just from having the highest point cards in one of the four suits on each card, but also from an understanding of the chances that opponents may or may not have cards of similar value.

Rules for Playing SET with Teams in the Classroom

Note: The following exercises call for the use of SET transparencies or an interactive whiteboard.

Divide the class into teams of 3-8 students each. Go to www.setgame.com and view the SET Daily Puzzle. Duplicate the puzzle on the overhead or project it onto the interactive whiteboard.

This lesson includes 3 different ways to play with teams in the classroom:
Quiet Team Play
Quiet Team Play to Develop English Language Skills
Team Play to Develop Communication Skills

Language Skills Using SET in the Classroom

For this exercise, transparencies can be placed on the overhead projector or printed on a worksheet for students to work individually or in teams.

Activity: Place two cards on the overhead projector. Ask the students to describe the missing card. For younger students, have them fill in missing adjectives in a sentence you provide.

More Advanced Activity: Place two cards on the overhead projector. Ask the students to draw the missing card and then write a sentence describing it.
Example: I need two open purple ovals to complete this SET.
Place two new cards on the overhead projector. Ask the students to draw the missing card and then write a sentence using a different verb or sentence structure. Example: In order to complete this SET, a solid red oval is required.
Continue as above: The third sentence could be: “Please give me an open red diamond.”

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