If you have an animal lover in your home, CardLine Animals from Asmodee is a great way to learn defining characteristics of a variety of species, while playing a game.
The cards are beautifully illustrated. On one side, the card has only the illustration, while the flip side has the illustrated animal and information. Each card is labelled with the animal’s common name, as well as its scientific name. Additionally, the card lists the approximate size, weight and life span of the animal. Symbols are included for animal classification, such as mammal, insect, or reptile.
Gameplay involves organizing the animals in order of a chosen characteristic. To begin with, each player is dealt the same number of cards. The top card from the draw pile is placed between players. Then players take turns placing their cards in the order of the chosen trait. All players play to one central line of cards. If the card is not placed in the correct position, the card is discarded and the player draws a new card to add to their hand.
When we play, players only look at the illustrated side and try to determine where their cards should be placed amongst the cards in the line. Once the position is chosen, then the card is flipped and compared to the others. For younger players, you might choose to look at the information side to be able to compare the values.
I love that these cards lend themselves to several areas of learning.
When studying classification of animals, I think the usefulness of these cards is evident. You can use the cards for study and comparison of defining traits. We’ve used them when discussing habitats as well.
The mathematical uses are plentiful! Comparing number values are a must throughout the game. So, this is a great way to develop number sense. A real-life application of measurement is possible as you compare both known and foreign creatures in feet and inches. Instead of fractions of an inch, measurements include the use of decimals. Weight measurement is also present for comparison in tons, pounds, and ounces. It can become evident how important it is to understand these values when you’re discussing the weight of a black ant (0.0003 ounces) compared to the African elephant (6.6 tons).
The life span information is a great way to study time comparisons of day versus month and year. We were surprised by many of the lifespans. My daughter’s favorite fact to spout is about how long the blue whale lives.
These comparisons can spawn into some great scientific conversations as you discuss not only the printed information, but hypothesize as to why these facts exist for each animal. We had one line where we were comparing life spans. When we had finished, one child remarked that the animal cards were in size order as well. We began to discuss whether life span and size were related.
Asmodee has other topics in the CardLine series as well. Since the kids enjoy playing this so much, I think we’ll be looking into other sets. My daughter has already requested the dinosaur version. I’m thinking of looking at the history timelines.